Mexico allows GM corn for feed and industrial use
FEBRUARY 14: Mexico on Monday scrapped plans to ban the use of genetically modified corn for feed, but kept plans to ban the use of genetically modified corn in food and ban the herbicide glyphosate.
Mexico's Economy Ministry said the government scrapped plans to ban genetically modified corn for animal feed and industrial use from January 2024. The new measures will come into effect on Tuesday (14th).
Mexican officials say they still plan to ban the use of genetically modified corn to produce food for human consumption. Mexico's health regulator (COFEPRIS) will be in charge of authorizing GM corn as animal feed or for industrial production, subject to availability. Mexico will also revoke authorizations and permits for the import, production, distribution and use of the herbicide glyphosate.
Mexican President André Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) issued a decree in 2020, planning to phase out imports of genetically modified corn and the herbicide glyphosate by January 2024.
Mexico imports about 17 million tons of genetically modified yellow corn from the United States each year, much of it for animal feed.
Over the past few months, U.S. officials have expressed serious concern about Mexico's GMO ban. U.S. trade negotiator De Qi threatened in January that the U.S. would consider all options, including formal steps to enforce rights under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). U.S. officials say Mexico's GM ban could disrupt the multibillion-dollar U.S.-Mexico bilateral agricultural trade.
The new U.S. agricultural trade chief said last week that he had given Mexico until Feb. 14 to respond, demanding an explanation of the science behind Mexico's planned ban.