Home Headlines U.S. and Mexico clash over Genetically Modified Corn

U.S. and Mexico clash over Genetically Modified Corn

by Magali Alvarez
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GMO stands for genetically modified organism, which is an organism whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. GMOs are used to create crops and animals with desirable traits, such as resistance to pests, diseases, or herbicides. However, GMOs also pose serious risks to the environment, biodiversity, and human health.

One of the countries that is facing the negative impacts of GMOs is Mexico, which is the center of origin and diversity of corn, one of the most important staple crops in the world.

GMO corn has also been linked to health problems, such as allergies, immune disorders, and cancer. According to a study by the National Institute of Genomic Medicine in Mexico City, 90 percent of Mexicans have traces of GMO corn in their blood. This raises concerns about the long-term effects of GMO consumption on human health.

In addition, GMO crops have also harmed the environment by reducing soil fertility, increasing pesticide use and resistance, and affecting the balance of ecosystems. For example, GMO cotton has been shown to have negative effects on non-target organisms, such as bees and butterflies. Further- more, GMO crops have also contributed to deforestation, land degradation, and water pollution.

Therefore, GMOs are not a sustainable solution for agriculture and food security in Mexico. Instead, they are a threat to the country’s rich biodiversity, cultural heritage, and public health. Mexico should ban GMOs and protect its native seeds and farmers from biotechnology corporations that seek to monopolize the food system.

The U.S. and Mexico are locked in a trade dispute over genetically modified (GM) corn, a staple crop for both countries. The conflict stems from a presidential decree issued by Mexico in late 2020, which aims to ban GM corn for human consumption and phase out its use as animal feed by 2024. The decree also seeks to end the use of glyphosate, a herbicide commonly used with GM crops.

The U.S., which is the largest exporter of GM corn to Mexico, has objected to the decree, claiming that it violates the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a free trade pact that took effect in 2020. The U.S. argues that Mexico’s measures are not based on science and undermine the market access it agreed to provide under the USMCA. The U.S. also says that the ban would hurt American farmers, who rely on biotechnology to increase their productivity and resilience to climate change.

On the other hand, Mexico says that its policy is consistent with its trade obligations and constitutional right to protect its biodiversity, food security, and public health. Mexico claims that GM corn poses potential health and environmental risks, especially for its native varieties of corn, which are considered part of its cultural heritage. Mexico also says that it has request- ed scientific cooperation from the U.S. to study the impacts of GM corn, but that the U.S. has denied the request.

The dispute has escalated in recent months, as the U.S. has formally requested a dispute settlement panel under the USMCA to resolve the issue. The panel of experts will have about six months to examine the case and issue a ruling. If Mexico is found to have breached the USMCA and fails to comply with the panel’s directives, the U.S. could impose retaliatory tariffs on Mexican goods, sparking a possible trade war between the two neighbors.

TYT Newsroom

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