Corn is inextricably tied to the quotidian lives of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. As the basic grain, it shapes daily meals, and it’s growing cycle influences the timing of festivals. Spiritually, physically, and economically, corn sustains indigenous peoples.
Mexico has been planning to prohibit genetically modified corn and glyphosate for more than two years, citing risks to human health, the environment, and the country’s biocultural diversity. In December 2020, it set a deadline of January 31, 2024, to replace glyphosate and phase out all uses of genetically modified corn. But due to the pressure of the USA and Canada the government got cold feet and pushed back the deadline to phase out industrial and animal feed uses of genetically modified corn. Still, the ban of imports of genetically modified corn for use in flour, dough, and tortillas by March 31,2024 remains.
Several organizations not only from Mexico, but from the US and Canada as well, condemn the interfering of the US and Canada with Mexico’s decision to phase out genetically modified corn but welcome the transition to more environmentally friendly farming practices. Timothy Wise, producer of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, pointed out that US producers share the opposition to the extreme power of transnationals and Mexico’s right to consume the corn it decides, a decision that would also benefit the US by opening a non-GM corn market with better prices, fewer chemicals and better quality for nutrition. On behalf of Mexico, Mercedes López, member of the Campaign Without Corn There is No Country, said that through international networks between producers and organizations they will seek the production of non-genetically modified corn that will benefit the populations of the three countries and stop the interests of transnational corporations.
MEDIA RELEASE: MEXICO’S SCIENCE-BASED DECISIONS TO PHASE OUT GMO CORN AND GLYPHOSATE PUT CANADA’S FLAWED STANCE TO SHAME – Coucil of Canadians Mexico revises plan to phase out glyphosate, biotech corn – C&EN Organizaciones de México, EUA y Canadá hacen frente en defensa del maíz nativo – La Coperacha