Mexico keeps resolve in GMO ban

Market to Market | Clip
Nov 11, 2022 | 3 min

China, Mexico, Japan and Colombia all took more than 1 billion bushels of U.S. corn in 2021. 

The number two destination upheld a change in the type of yellow corn they’ll let in the country.

David Miller reports.


In 2020, the Mexican federal government declared it would phase out the use and import of GMO corn by the end of January in 2024. Along with the draw down was a ban on glyphosate-based weed killers. At the time, it was unclear if any exemptions would be granted.

This week, Mexico’s president Jose Andres Manuel Obrador, re-affirmed this pledge to ban the import of genetically modified corn.

Supporters of the ban are concerned about contamination of native corn varieties and say glyphosate herbicides are harmful.

Last week, the National Corn Growers Association went to the Biden Administration for help. In response, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai met virtually with Mexico’s Secretary of Economy late. The conversation included Tai stressing the importance of avoiding disruption of U.S. corn exports and asked for a return to a science-based regulatory approval process.

Last year, according to government data, U.S. producers exported 17 million tons of corn to the nation’s number two trading partner at a value of $4.6 billion. The bulk of that corn was used as livestock feed. USDA statistics indicate that over 90 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified.

Officials with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a U.S. GMO lobbying group, stated if the ban holds it could cost billions of dollars on both sides of the border and potentially create a food crisis for the Mexican people.

Mexico is considering direct agreements with farmers in this country as well as Argentina and Brazil. It’s been nearly four years since COFEPRIS, Mexico’s governmental health agency, has approved a new strain of glyphosate-resistant genetically modified corn.

For Market to Market, I’m David Miller.