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Activists Push for Mexico’s GMO Ban to Include Imports

For years OCA’s sister organizations in Mexico, Via Organica and the Asociacion de Consumidores Organica, have worked in coalitions such as Sin Maiz no Hay Pais (“Without Corn there is no Country”) to ban the cultivation of GMO corn and soybeans in Mexico, with major recent successes in the courts and the national legislature.

As Al Jazeera reports:

“Mexico currently bans the cultivation of GM corn – a status quo the Supreme Court reinforced in October when it affirmed the right of Mexican authorities to refuse applications to plant GM corn.

“But the government appeared to signal that could just be the start of a wider crackdown. In December 2020, a presidential decree was issued seeking to ban GM corn for human consumption by 2024. The move triggered an outcry north of the border. More than 90 percent of the corn grown in the United States is genetically engineered, and Mexico is the biggest buyer of it…

“Mexico currently imports 16 million tons of corn ($2.7bn annually) each year from the US – mostly yellow corn for livestock and industrial purposes.

“White corn for human consumption is grown domestically in Mexico. The Supreme Court decision in October was in response to a challenge led by crop giant Bayer after Mexican authorities rejected an import of the company’s GM corn seed. The court upheld an eight-year-old injunction against planting GM corn, the product of a class action brought by farmers, consumers, and environmental leaders in 2013.

“Citing the constitutional right to a clean environment, the Supreme Court decision dealt a decisive blow to Bayer and other multinational seed companies. Bayer reportedly said that the decision to reject its import was “unscientific”, noting that the company holds itself to “unprecedented” safety testing and standards.”

Learn more: Activists Push for Mexico’s GM Corn Ban to Include Imports