This week we are covering the topic of corn export limitations to Mexico. Read about the details concerning the governmental plan to cut down on GMO corn orders, what are the arguments, and what is the country’s goal for food self-reliance. See also how other countries are approaching the GMO topic around the globe.
Mexico Limits GMO Corn Imports
Mexico is following the plan to limit and eventually cease the imports of genetically-modified corn by 2024. The strategy was born with the executive order from the ministry of agriculture in Mexico issued in December 2020. The plan aims to boost the local production and therefore replace around 16 million tonnes of GMO corn, mostly imported from the U.S., which accounts for over 30% of the country’s demand for grain, dedicated mostly to animal feed. The key argument for the implementation of this new strategy is the concern about contamination stemming from the cultivation of GMO corn but also a vision of Mexico’s self-reliance in food production. The country already manages a program of direct cash-payment to farmers with this year’s budget of $662 million but still, Mexico’s output would have to grow by 60% to reach the goal.
Nevertheless, the worldwide approach to GMO corn imports is not equivocal. The decision made by Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry at the end of 2020 implemented the regulations on licenses for animal feed which will result in facilitated imports of GMO corn from the U.S. – an approach contrary to that of the Mexican authorities. Last year China approved two new traits for genetically modified corn and renewed biosafety certificates for three other traits. In 2020 in Zimbabwe, the ban on GMO corn was lifted after 12 years in order to fight a severe wave of famine. Within the EU, however, the regulations allow the import of GMO food and feed but only after passing a strict process of assessment on a case-by-case basis.