Is Mexico ready to cut its dependence on US supplies of GMO corn by January 2024?

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U.S. farmers ramp up pressure on Mexico to soften looming GMO corn ban (Photo: Reuters)

Despite the growing threats from Washington, AMLO’s government remains unbowed, at least publicly, in its commitment to energy and food security. The Energy Secretary Rocio Nahle García recently stated that Mexico’s energy balance and policy are “issues of national security.” In light of today’s global energy crisis, the government’s decision to protect Mexico’s state-owned energy companies, Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission (FCE), while pouring billions of dollars into expanding Mexico’s refining capacity and upgrading existing refineries has proven to be astute.

Now, AMLO plans to do the same with food. In his speech on Wednesday, in response to allegations that a US Republican Senator had threatened Mexico with legal consequences if it does not continue buying yellow corn from the US, AMLO seemed unperturbed:

“There is now a supposed threat, whose veracity we will have to confirm, from a Republican senator who stated that if we do not buy yellow corn, Mexico would be sued or that the law on transgenics would be reviewed. Well, with all due respect, they cannot do that, for we are a free, sovereign country…

As corn, this sacred of all plants, is native to Mexico, we have to take care of the native varieties and not just think about profitability. In addition, there is a growing trend right now toward broader consumption of white and native corn, which we are going to promote. I have heard that high-end restaurants, which I must clarify I don’t go to, are serving tortilla made from native corn, for which they charge a fair price.”

The truth is that the tortilla is an exceptional, extraordinary food stuff. Just take the taco: It has corn, which is a carbohydrate; meat, which is a protein; and the sauce, which is a source of vitamins. It is the most balanced thing there can be.

We have to look after that, take care of what is ours. Just think about how many varieties of corn there are and how many types of food are made with that corn.

Mexico is already largely self-sufficient once again in its production of both white corn and beans. But it is dependent on US imports for a whopping 75% of the yellow corn it consumes, almost all of which is GMO. This year, it is on track to import more than ever.

In other words, much remains to be done if Mexico is to be ready to sever its dependence on US supplies of GMO corn by the end of January 2024. The government will need to find alternative global suppliers. To that end, it is looking further afield to countries that produce and export non-GMO corn, including Argentina and Brazil. But it also needs to ensure that its support of Mexican producers, in particular small-scale farmers, translates into swift, significant, sustainable production increases. But before all that happens, it could face the mother of all legal blowbacks from Washington.

Source: OEM

Mexico Daily Post