World News

US seeks session with Mexico over GMO corn restrictions

The U.S. authorities has escalated its commerce dispute over proposed Mexican limits on genetically modified corn, asking Monday for formal consultations with Mexico on the problem.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s workplace introduced it has known as for consultations with Mexico over proposed guidelines that might ban GM corn for human consumption; Mexico says it may ultimately ban it for animal feed as effectively.

The commerce consultant’s workplace stated the ban may “threaten to disrupt billions of {dollars} in agricultural commerce.”


Mexico is the main importer of U.S. corn, most of which is genetically modified. Almost all is fed to cattle, pigs and chickens in Mexico, which does not develop sufficient feed corn to provide itself.

Mexico argues GM corn could have well being results, even when used as fodder, however hasn’t offered proof. If the problem isn’t solved in consultations, it may result in a dispute decision panel or commerce sanctions underneath the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free commerce settlement, referred to as the USMCA.

“The United States has repeatedly conveyed our severe considerations with Mexico’s biotechnology insurance policies and the significance of adopting a science-based strategy that complies with its USMCA commitments,” U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai stated in a press release.

“Mexico’s insurance policies threaten to disrupt billions of {dollars} in agricultural commerce and they’re going to stifle the innovation that’s essential to sort out the local weather disaster and meals safety challenges if left unaddressed,” in response to the assertion.

Mexico’s Economy Department pressured in a press release Monday that the problem is just not but a commerce dispute, although consultations are step one in that course of, and expressed confidence it may very well be labored out.

Mexico's proposed ban on GMO corn has led the U.S. to seek opportunities for trade negotiations.

Mexico’s proposed ban on GMO corn has led the U.S. to hunt alternatives for commerce negotiations. ((Photo by Michael Williamson/The The Washington Post by way of Getty Images))

Mexico had beforehand appeared desirous to keep away from a significant showdown with the United States on the corn problem — however not keen sufficient to fully drop speak of any ban.

In February, Mexico’s Economy Department issued new guidelines that dropped the date for substituting imports of GM feed corn. Some imported corn can also be floor into meal to be used in corn chips or different snacks.

Under a earlier model of the principles, some U.S. growers apprehensive a GM feed corn ban may occur as quickly as 2024 or 2025.

While the date was dropped, the language remained within the guidelines about ultimately substituting GM corn, one thing that might trigger costs for meat to skyrocket in Mexico, the place inflation is already excessive.

U.S. farmers have apprehensive in regards to the potential lack of the only greatest export marketplace for U.S. corn. Mexico has been importing GM feed corn from the U.S. for years, shopping for about $3 billion value yearly.

The new guidelines nonetheless say Mexican authorities will perform “the gradual substitution” of GM feed and milled corn, however units no date for doing so and says potential well being points would be the topic of research by Mexican specialists “with well being authorities from different international locations.”


“Regarding the usage of genetically modified corn for animal feed and industrial use, the date for prohibiting its use has been eradicated,” the Economy Department stated within the assertion. “Working teams will probably be arrange with the home and worldwide personal sector to realize an orderly transition.”

Mexico was the place corn was first domesticated beginning round 9,000 years in the past, and to be able to defend its native varieties, the nation will nonetheless ban imports of GM seed corn.

Mexico may also prohibit the usage of GM corn for direct human consumption, which in Mexico consists primarily of contemporary white corn and white corn tortilla flour. Mexico has no must import white corn from the United States, the place most corn is yellow or candy corn.

The United States has additionally been angered by Mexico’s limits on overseas and personal electrical energy vegetation in Mexico, however the U.S. authorities has not but taken that problem to the USMCA dispute decision course of.

The United States says Mexico is unfairly favoring its state-owned electrical energy and oil corporations over American opponents and clean-energy suppliers. Canada additionally has joined in that grievance. Mexico says it’s defending a majority share of its home power marketplace for the state-owned energy firm.

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