NCGA Provides Update on Mexico's GM Corn Ban

USAgNet - 07/02/2024

Officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative hammered arguments made by Mexican representatives this week during oral arguments over Mexico's ban on imports of genetically modified corn used in some food products.

The ban was issued in early 2023. USTR filed a dispute settlement under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over the issue in August of that year after the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and state corn groups spent months pushing for action.

"The science overwhelmingly shows that genetically modified corn is safe for consumers and does not harm native plants," said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. "U.S. officials did an excellent job of making their case, and more importantly they successfully argued that the Mexican government does not have the scientific evidence to support its actions or claims."

During the hearing, which was held on Wednesday and Thursday in Mexico City, U.S. officials made several convincing arguments, according to Wolle, including that Mexico did not conduct a risk assessment to support its claims and the documentation they provided was over 20 years old and lacked scientific rigor. They also argued that Mexico's regulatory agencies have previously determined that genetically modified corn is safe for use and this abrupt deviation from those determinations is a way to restrict trade and target imports.

The panel hearing the case is expected to render a decision toward the end of November.

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