False Alarms Over Mexico’s GM-Corn Restrictions

This article will appear in Spanish in La Jornada del Campo as part of a forthcoming 10-article opinion section on the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and Mexico over Mexico’s policies restricting genetically modified corn and glyphosate.

August 17, 2023 | Source: IATP | by Timothy Wise

Ever since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued his initial 2020 decree restricting genetically modified (GM) corn and glyphosate imports and uses, U.S. commodity and agribusiness groups have been sounding alarms about the economic damages the measures would cause. The alarms kept ringing even after a series of productive negotiations resulted in a new decree in February 2023 that reduced the immediate restrictions on GM corn, postponing any action on GM feed corn imports and restricting only the use of GM corn in the tortilla-masa food chain.

No matter. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, in announcing the call for formal consultations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) March 6, asserted, “Mexico’s policies threaten to disrupt billions of dollars in agricultural trade.”

There is no credible evidence to support that claim, which is based on flawed and now outdated industry-funded economic studies.