Canadians Support the Right of the People of Mexico To Determine Their Own Relationship With Corn

April 8, 2024 | Source: National Farmers Union

In solidarity with Mexico, today 31 Canadian organizations stated their objection to Canada’s role in a trade challenge initiated by the United States under the Canada-US-Mexico trade agreement (CUSMA), which aims to end Mexico’s restrictions on the use of genetically modified (GM) corn for certain foods. Corn, also known as maize, is a staple of the Mexican diet, and is central to Mexican culture and agriculture, history and national identity, and is integral to Indigenous cultures and spiritual practices. The groups are calling upon Canada to respect the seed sovereignty of Indigenous and peasant farmers in Mexico and their pursuit of food sovereignty.

On February 13, 2023, a presidential decree disallowed the use of GM corn in Mexico for making traditional foods, such as tortilla, that rely on minimally processed white corn flour. The decree also states the intention to eventually replace GM corn ingredients in processed foods with non-GM corn. These measures are the result of decades of struggle by farmers and grassroots communities in Mexico who are asserting their right to seed and food sovereignty.