Transgenic corn: Mexico’s ban is for political reasons, not health reasons, argues the US

The United States argues that the prohibition of transgenic corn carried out by the Mexican Government is due more to a political issue that to a topic of health risks or threatens native corn, according to the written case presented to the dispute settlement panel under the T-MEC.

The US side points out that historicallyMexico has been one of the countries with the most authorizations to import and sell transgenic crops for human and animal food, but as of 2018 the Government policy reverted all permissions without prior notice or risk assessment.

”After allowing the import and sale of genetically modified corn in Mexico for decades without experiencing any adverse effects on human, animal or plant life or health, and after recommitting to fair, open and science-based trade under the T-MEC, Mexico suddenly and completely reversed its policy. There was no new science. There was no new risk assessment. There was only one change of government“, reads the 76-page document with 139 annexes.

The letter emphasizes that Mexico has issued more than 200 event authorizations in 11 different transgenic crops (alfalfa, canola, two types of cotton, corn, lemon, potato, rice, soybeans, sugar beets and tomatoes) and the number of authorizations for corn alone almost equals the number of authorizations for the other ten genetically modified crops combined.

The United States position warns that Mexico’s decree to eliminate imports of genetically modified corn not only affects future trade, but also current one, since seed developers and seed companies, farmers and traders cannot plan effectively the following growing seasons.

US estimates global impact of Mexico’s closure to GMOs

On the other hand, he points out that Mexico “despises“scientific evidence that genetically modified foods”they do not pose any risk“, so the Mexican Government’s position could “affect the global food system by hindering innovation and raising costs in supply chains.”

“He contempt of Mexico for the overwhelming scientific evidence showing that genetically modified corn poses no risk to human, animal or plant life or health, it could have knock-on effects for the entire global food system by stifling innovation and imposing unjustifiable costs on throughout the agricultural supply chain,” the document warns.

The United States explains that Mexico is a critical export market for US corn, so the substitution of GM corn would have a significant chilling effect on the advancement of biotechnology and the introduction of new GM corn products to the world market, at a time when biotechnology is key to making in the face of climate change, food insecurity and the increase in world population.