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Update 1-U.S. Needs To Press Mexico on Looming Biotech Corn Ban, Vilsack Says

CHICAGO, Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday he is continuing to talk with officials in Mexico about that country’s looming ban on genetically modified (GM) corn, adding that it will be important to get clarity on the issue in 2023.

A decree issued by Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in late 2020 would phase out GM corn and the herbicide glyphosate by 2024.

The United States could use the USMCA trade pact to challenge Mexico’s policies if needed, Vilsack said. Mexico is a top buyer of U.S. corn.

“I recognize the importance of 2023 in terms of getting clarity about exactly where we are,” he said on a livestream of a meeting with state agriculture officials in the United States.

“We do need to press the issue, and will this year and take whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to raise this issue a notch or two as we get closer to 2024.”