Mexico plans to ban GM corn imports, stirring potential conflict with U.S.
Published: October 7, 2020
Category: GMO News, The Organic & Non-GMO Report Newsletter
Retiring environment minister Victor Toledo announced recently that Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to ban imports of genetically modified corn, a dramatic move for relations within and without the country.
Toledo, a strong, critic of GMOs, sees the move as a “watershed in the country’s environmental history.” López Obrador wants to protect the territory and safeguard the people’s health. But specialists interviewed by LaPolíticaOnline say the move would be impractical and harmful to Mexico. The country imports about 20 million tons of corn from the U.S. annually (95% of total purchases), nearly all of it GM corn.
“Adopting such a measure would bring about a shortage of basic foodstuff and, therefore, an increase in prices,” one source said. “It is not viable beyond a historical, doctrinaire, and environmentalist vision that prevails in the government.”
The government also hopes to phase out glyphosate usage, arousing anger from rural farmers. Beyond the border, halting GM corn imports would hurt Donald Trump’s reelection bid, as it strongly impacts his base—so a strong retaliation is possible.
Mexico only imported about 3,000 tons of corn from Argentina in 2019, but shipments are increasing; the move might alienate a strong ally. Argentina is the third largest corn exporter in the world.
Source: Forbes México, LaPolíticaOnline
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