Mexico-US trade friction over planned GM-corn curbs


Opponents of genetically modified corn warn that Mexico’s many native corn varieties face genetic contamination from bioengineered imports. (Photo by Shutterstock/Misraim Alvarez)

A simmering controversy over Mexico’s plan to ban imports of genetically modified corn boiled over in January, when the United States—Mexico’s main corn supplier—threatened to sue its neighbor for allegedly breaking trade rules. U.S. officials say the ban would jeopardize billions of dollars in corn sales to Mexico and violate the United States-Mexico-Canada trade pact (USMCA). U.S. corn growers last year exported some 17 million tons of corn—most of it genetically modified—to Mexico, their largest market after China. Tensions date to December 2020, when Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador decreed that Mexico would prohibit imports of transgenic corn by 2024, citing threats to health and the prospect of genetic contamination of the country’s prized native corn varieties. The decree said Mexico would phase out glyphosate, a herbicide widely used in conjunction with crops that have been bioengineered to tolerate it. The World Health... [Log in to read more]

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