The López Obrador government continues with its intention to veto the import of transgenic corn and the United States increases pressure to prevent it.
The Mexican government is so clear that it does not want genetically modified corn from the United States as in the White House they are willing to continue pressing to continue selling it to them.
So it was that this week the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, Tom Vilsack, traveled to Mexico to meet with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and convey Washington DC’s concern about his plans to veto US transgenic corn as of 2024.
“I emphasized, in no uncertain terms, that without an acceptable resolution to the matter, the US government would be forced to consider all options, including taking formal steps to enforce our rights under USMCA,” Vilsack said in a statement. reproduced by specialized media in the agricultural sector.
But Mexico, one of the largest importers of corn in the world, defends that the imported transgenic puts local ancestral varieties at risk and for this reason, on December 31, 2020, issued a decree to veto it for human consumption as of January 2024. .
The matter has caused enormous concern in the US agricultural sector, which in the 2021/22 financial year sold 16.8 tons to Mexico, its main market, worth more than $5 billion, according to data from the US Grain Council.
Is the corn war coming?
No to transgenic corn for human consumption
“We do not want transgenic corn for human consumption, we do not want it, we are not going to allow it,” insisted President López Obrador in his morning conference on Monday, before meeting with Secretary Vilsack.
In addition, he assured that his country is self-sufficient in terms of white corn, which is consumed by people, but he did acknowledge that it requires yellow corn for cattle and that is where the dispute lies.
” Where the problem is in yellow corn for fodder, so that is our policy (prohibit GMOs) and it will continue like this, but there are ways to reach an agreement,” he explained, according to EFE.
This ban could cut Mexican imports of US corn in half, Deputy Agriculture Minister Victor Suárez told Reuters last month.
After the meeting, Secretary Vilsack issued his statement saying there had been “some progress” and noting that the president was open to discussing a potential process for exchanging information on the safety of US biotechnology.
He also rescued that López Obrador reaffirmed the importance of yellow corn for Mexican food security.
And he warned that the matter, if not resolved, will have a significant impact on the trade relationship between the two countries, which already have an energy dispute.
“We made it clear that the ban on imports from Mexico will cause massive economic losses for the Mexican agricultural industry and citizens, in addition to imposing an unjustified burden on US farmers,” he added.
The human cost of pesticides (PHOTOS)
In 1996, the Argentine government approved the commercialization of transgenic products and the use of the herbicide glyphosate. 20 years later, approximately 60% of the country’s cultivated area was fumigated with pesticides, some of which are prohibited in most countries in the world. This 2014 photograph taken in the northeastern province of Misiones shows 5-year-old boy Lucas Techeira who suffers from Ichthyosis Lamellar, a rare genetic skin disorder. The province of Misiones was the gateway for transgenic crops in Argentina Crédito: Pablo Piovano/Philip Jones Griffiths Photojournalism AwardUnivision