Mexico reached an agreement with food manufacturers to use only non-GMO corn in tortilla production across the country. The government says it plans to implement new import tariffs on white corn imports.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced this decision on June 19, emphasizing the importance of preserving the nation’s traditional food practices.
Background on Mexico’s GMO Decree
The decision follows Obrador declaration in 2020 that Mexico will be phasing out imports of certain ag biotechnology products, including GMO corn, in 2025.
After being approached by the U.S. in January about the trade issue, Mexico replied with a new decree, which proposed the ban be put in immediate effect, as opposed to the initial 2025 proposal.
Mexico’s decision has raised concerns from the U.S. and Canada. Initially, the U.S. tried to forego a dispute with Mexico through negotiations. Because one-on-one conversations have not remedied the issue, the U.S. began the formal process of a dispute.
What Mexico Has to Say About GMO Trade
Mexico defends its actions, stating that its self-sufficiency in white corn production means that the ban does not qualify as a trade barrier. On the other hand, the U.S. and Canada argue that this policy contradicts Mexico’s commitment to make science-based decisions on biotechnology according to the USMCA.
As multiple discussions have not yet resolved the issue, it seems probable that the disagreement will be brought to a USMCA panel.
Source: AG WEB