On Monday, February 13th, Mexico scrapped a deadline to ban genetically modified corn for animal feed and industrial use amid trade tensions with the United States but retained plans to prohibit the use of the grain for human consumption as well as the herbicide glyphosate.
The move, approved in a government decree, eliminates January 2024 as the date for the country to forbid GM corn for animal feed and industrial use, a statement by the Economy Ministry said.
Amid a brewing dispute over the possible disruption of billions of dollars worth of corn trade, U.S. officials and farmers had called for clarity on the ban from Mexico. The latter buys about 17 million tonnes of mostly GM yellow corn from the U.S. annually, most of which is used for animal feed.
Mexico said it still plans to revoke and refrain from granting new authorizations for GM corn for human consumption, which the decree defined as flour, dough, or tortilla made from the grain. The ban does not apply to GM corn used in the industrial manufacturing of products like cosmetics, textiles, and paper, the decree said.
About 18% to 20% of the corn Mexico imports from the United States is white corn, used in food products like tortillas, according to sector experts.
Under the decree, the new measures take effect on Tuesday. A spokeswoman for the Economy Ministry did not immediately respond to a question about whether Mexico would begin revoking authorizations of GM corn for human consumption on Tuesday.
The decree also said Mexico will revoke authorizations and permits to import, produce, distribute, and use the herbicide glyphosate, a plan it has had since late 2020. A transition period would be in effect until March 31, 2024.
Health authority COFEPRIS will be responsible for authorizations of GM corn to be used as animal feed or in industrial manufacturing processes, subject to supply availability.
Source: El Financiero