February 15, 2021
Lawsuits may be filed against Mexico's proposed bans on corn imports and glyphosate
Juan Cortina, president of Mexico's Farm Council (CNA), said the Mexican government will face legal challenges to reverse a proposal ban imports of genetically modified (GMO) corn and herbicide glyphosate, Reuters reported.
Cortina said the lawsuits will be filed by people who use glyphosate and GMO corn, adding that he expects exporters from the United States to appeal to provisions of the USMCA trade pact to declare the proposed government measures as illegal.
In late-2020, the Mexican government proposed to ban the use of GMO corn and glyphosate over for three years citing health risks and the need to prioritise traditional domestic corn supplies.
Cortina said Mexico's agricultural sector grew 2% even though the country was under an economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the import ban could lead to Mexico's livestock industry facing a loss of competitiveness as it is heavily dependent on the 17 million tonnes yearly imported yellow corn, mostly imported from the United States that almost exclusively grows GMO varieties.
Cortina said the Mexican government should offer alternatives that are price-competitive and equally effective for farmers.
According to the CNA, Mexico's livestock industry accounts for roughly 40% of its farm economy worth US$24 billion in 2020.
Critics from the agriculture industry said the government's proposed ban does not differentiate between yellow corn and white corn. Mexico is self-sufficient in white corn.
Cortina urged the government to make decisions based on science, not on ideology.
Cortina became president of the CNA last month. He is the head of Mexico's sugar chamber.