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The transnational corporations and business organizations that benefit from GM corn and biocides such as glyphosate are strongly pressuring the Mexican government (with support from the U.S. government) to renounce its right to food sovereignty and walk away from the international commitments assumed by the three governments in the "Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework," which is the strategic plan for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in the period 2022-2030, intended to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. https://www.cbd.int/article/cop15-cbd-press-release-final-19dec2022
The demand by corporations and their lobbyists that Mexico reverse the legitimate and legal decisions made in compliance with the spirit of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as well as international legal frameworks, to protect the world's center of origin and diversification of maize from contamination by transgenic corn, as well as the gradual but effective elimination of highly hazardous pesticides such as the carcinogenic glyphosate (also known by its brand name RoundUp or Faena), is a true international legal absurdity and an anachronistic approach typical of the last century, contrary to the broad social demands and international commitments of the 21st century.
In December 2022, the governments of the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as the majority of governments in the world, participated in the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal. They agreed on the "Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework" (https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/statements/adoption-kunming-montreal-global-biodiversity-framework-gbf), which establishes four goals and 23 targets. Of those, we highlight only three, which contrast with the irrationality of the corporate demands towards Mexico:
Reduce pollution risks and the negative impact of pollution from all sources by 2030, to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, considering cumulative effects, including: reducing excess nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, including through more efficient nutrient cycling and use; reducing the overall risk from pesticides and highly hazardous chemicals by at least half, including through integrated pest management, based on science, taking into account food security and livelihoods; and also preventing, reducing and working towards eliminating plastic pollution.
Ensure that the management and use of wild species are sustainable, thereby providing social, economic, and environmental benefits for people, especially those in vulnerable situations and those most dependent on biodiversity, including through sustainable biodiversity-based activities, products and services that enhance biodiversity, and protecting and encouraging customary sustainable use by Indigenous peoples and local communities.
Ensure that areas under agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry are managed sustainably, in particular through the sustainable use of biodiversity, including through a substantial increase of the application of biodiversity-friendly practices, such as sustainable intensification, agroecological and other innovative approaches contributing to the resilience and long-term efficiency and productivity of these production systems and to food security, conserving and restoring biodiversity and maintaining nature’s contributions to people, including ecosystem functions and services.
Our organizations, and an increasing number of members of our governments and legislative and judicial bodies, see the goal of trying to put corporate interests above the priorities of respect for Mother Nature, as well as public health, as clearly irrational. Such proposals go against the socioenvironmental needs of the region and the world. Instead, we must build alternative policies for balanced development that should be the priority, in harmony with international law.
WE REJECT PRESSURE BY TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS AND THEIR AGRIBUSINESS ALLIES THAT CONTROL SEEDS AND AGROCHEMICALS.
WE SUPPORT THE POLICY, IN EACH OF OUR COUNTRIES, OF ENCOURAGING THE PRODUCTION OF NON-GM MAIZE, WITHOUT GLYPHOSATE OR OTHER SIMILAR BIOCIDES, AS WELL AS THE POLICY OF FAIR AND SUSTAINABLE TRADE.
WE ENCOURAGE GOVERNMENTS TO RAISE THESE ISSUES, TO TAKE EFFECTIVE MEASURES TO COMPLY WITH THE COMMITMENTS ESTABLISHED TO PROTECT BIODIVERSITY AND TO RESPECT THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO STRENGTHEN THEIR SOVEREIGNTY AND FOOD SECURITY.
WE REITERATE OUR EXHORTATION TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO TO STAND FIRM IN THE FACE OF PRESSURE FROM THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AND TRANSNATIONAL INTERESTS.
Ciudad de México
For a full list of signatories, see PDF of letter