Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico, reaffirmed that he will not allow the import of transgenic corn for human consumption in his meeting with Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, although he qualified that he is seeking an agreement.
“We were with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States government yesterday, we talked well, all the information was given, a way out is being sought, we were very clear that we cannot allow imported corn, whether it is yellow, which is sustained it is transgenic,” said López Obrador on Tuesday.
In his daily press conference, the president referred to the meeting he had with Vilsack on Monday at the National Palace, where they discussed food inflation, the preparation for the North American Leaders Summit that will take place in Mexico in January, and the refusal to import transgenic corn from the United States.
Two weeks ago, the controversy over transgenic corn caused Republican senators to send a letter to Katherine Tai, the US trade representative, to initiate consultations within the Treaty between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (USMCA).
In this regard, López Obrador asserted that “advances were made” because “the Secretary of Agriculture is a conscientious person.”
Even so, the Mexican ruler asked “not to be alarmed” if the disagreement escalates to a dispute resolution panel within the T-MEC.
“We hope to reach an agreement, but, if that agreement is not reached, there are panels. And (we must not) be alarmed, that they go to a court and that they decide, but we cannot give in to that request,” he stressed.
The president argued that Mexico is self-sufficient in the consumption of white corn for humans, although he acknowledged that he needs more of the yellow variety to feed cattle.
For this reason, he indicated that he will extend the term to review the importation of yellow corn for two years, but only for fodder.
López Obrador proposed that the health and food agencies of the United States investigate together with the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) of Mexico the risks that transgenic corn represents for people.