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US and Mexico spar over GMO corn trade restrictions

US and Mexico spar over GMO corn trade restrictions

By Jamie Martin

US Trade Representatives strongly opposed Mexico’s upcoming ban on genetically modified (GMO) corn.

This controversy escalated into formal disputes under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), initiated by the US in response to concerns from the National Corn Growers Association and regional farming bodies.

The proposed ban by Mexico, expected to be implemented in 2024, targets GMO corn meant for human consumption.

Given that Mexico is a significant importer of US corn, this ban threatens substantial economic repercussions for American farmers and could destabilize longstanding trade partnerships.

US officials argue that the ban lacks a legitimate scientific foundation. Harold Wolle, a Minnesota farmer and president of the NCGA, criticized the outdated documentation Mexico used to justify the ban and pointed out the absence of a proper risk assessment in Mexico’s processes. He emphasized that existing scientific consensus confirms GMO corn’s safety for consumers and its non-threatening nature to native flora.

During a series of hearings in Mexico City, US representatives highlighted that Mexican regulatory bodies had previously acknowledged the safety of genetically modified corn.

The US stance suggests that the ban might be more about protecting local markets than addressing actual health or environmental concerns.

The decision on this dispute is awaited later this year, which will significantly impact agricultural trade dynamics between the two nations.

This case underscores the complexities of international trade agreements and the importance of basing regulatory actions on solid scientific evidence to maintain fair trade practices.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-yasonya

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