U.S. Pushes Back Against Mexico’s Ban of GMO Corn Imports

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is willing to risk a trade dispute with the United States in an effort to preserve a culturally important crop.

March 15, 2023 | Source: Investigate Midwest | by Madison McVan

MEXICO CITY — Anet Aguilar traces her passion for corn back to her grandmother.

In the Mexican state of Baja California where Aguilar lived with her grandmother, flour tortillas were popular. Her grandmother Feliza Ramirez was from Mexico City, though, where she grew up milling corn in her neighborhood’s shared mill and forming it into tortillas daily. When Ramirez moved north, she brought the family’s corn tortilla tradition with her.

Corn, the staple food that defines Mexican cuisine and allowed the country’s ancient civilizations to flourish, is now a source of conflict between the United States and Mexico’s current government.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is moving forward with a plan to limit imports of genetically modified corn from the U.S., despite the looming threat of a formal trade dispute.

The plant at the center of the controversial policy — corn — is both a symbol of Mexico’s cuisine and indigenous cultures, and also the biggest cash crop in the United States.