MINNEAPOLIS—On February 13, Mexico’s Ministry of the Economy released a revised decree on its planned restrictions on the imports of genetically-modified corn following pressure from the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to explain the science behind its plans to ban GM corn and glyphosate. Despite those moves to clarify the timing and extent of the changes, U.S. agribusiness interests continue to exert pressure and attempt to intervene in Mexico’s attempt to phase out glyphosate, limit GM corn use and protect its food sovereignty.
Mexico’s revised edict addresses many U.S. concerns. Apart from immediate restrictions on corn directly consumed by humans, the limits on GM feed corn, which is the majority of U.S. corn exports to Mexico, would be implemented gradually, pending the availability of adequate supplies of non-GM corn. However, according to a report in Inside U.S. Trade, USTR does not consider the decree a “formal response” to its questions on the science.
“Mexico’s restrictions on GM corn and glyphosate, indeed, are based on sound science. Yet, as always, U.S. leaders insist that they get to determine what constitutes ‘sound science,’” says Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) Senior Advisor Timothy A. Wise. “The new decree makes clear that Mexico reserves the right to take precautionary measures it considers important to protect public health and the environment, including the genetic integrity of its rich diversity of native corn.”
“Mexico’s effort to restrict GM corn is an important step toward advancing more agroecological food systems and protecting food sovereignty,” says Karen Hansen-Kuhn, IATP Program Director. “These restrictions emerge from years of scientific research, public advocacy and popular campaigns to protect human health, biodiversity and cultural heritage. Rather than express ‘disappointment’ in Mexico’s decree, as USDA Secretary Vilsack did earlier this week, the U.S. should back down from its attacks and consider how the U.S. can learn from this effort to reshape its own food system.”
For more information on the U.S.-Mexico debate on GM corn, visit: https://www.iatp.org/food-sovereignty-trade-and-mexicos-gmo-corn-policies.
Download the press statement.