An Ama(i)zing Quote from the US on Mexico’s Corn Ban

Gabriella Beaumont-Smith

As I wrote about recently, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador issued a decree banning genetically engineered (GE) corn for human consumption, creating serious implications for US‐​Mexico trade.

In August 2023, formal consultations failed, which resulted in the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the United States‐​Mexico‐​Canada Agreement (USMCA). On November 17, the US filed its first submission (dated October 25) to the panel, which is best summarized in this paragraph:

“After permitting the importation and sale of GE corn in Mexico for decades without experiencing any adverse effects on human, animal, or plant life or health, and after recommitting to fair, open, and science‐​based trade under the … USMCA … Mexico suddenly and completely reversed its policy. There was no new science. There was no new risk assessment. There was only a change in government.”

The US is completely right that this policy reversal is scientifically unfounded and only an example of a protectionist agenda established by a new government.

Mexico’s arguments are yet to be released so the timeline for the case’s conclusion is unclear. However, the US has already tried engaging with Mexico on this issue for four years. The longer the case goes unresolved, the worse the turmoil for Mexican farmers, American farmers, other businesses, and consumers.

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