Mexico offers flexibility to import US feed corn, but not white corn

Mexico is ready to strike a deal to exempt US feed corn annually from a future ban on genetically modified corn, but is not considering a deal for white corn for direct human consumption, according to a statement released by the office of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez. Abrador.

According to a statement issued in Mexico City, Obrador is willing to delay the implementation of the GMO decree on corn only until more research is done to show that it does not pose a threat to human safety. Currently, the import ban will take effect in January 2024.

A statement translated by U.S. government officials said the U.S. feed corn, which Obrador calls yellow corn, has traditionally been fed to Mexican livestock, but “in this case, Mexico is proposing that there be time to evaluate the composition of the yellow corn and determine that it is not harmful.” .

Abrador went on to say that “it takes time, so Mexico has offered to extend the deadline for yellow corn used for cattle. He said maize can be imported but not for human consumption.’

While that assessment — which could happen jointly with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — takes place, Abrador said Mexico could accept corn imports for cattle feed “under an annual permit” that could be renewed each year by Mexican authorities. .

The US mainly exports feed corn to Mexico, but US farmers also supply a lot of white corn to Mexican food processing and tortilla companies. Much of it is also genetically modified, and the statement is adamant that the Mexican ban prohibits its importation.

According to the statement, Abrador explained to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a meeting on Monday “that his administration wants to make it clear to the U.S. that trade is one thing and health is another. And if Mexico has to choose between trade and health, Mexico will choose health.”

Vilsak, in a statement he released after Monday’s meetingsaid that there are no specific written proposals or agreements yet.

“We expect to receive a proposal from the president’s team in the near future, and we will evaluate it carefully,” Vilsack said. “While we do not have a resolution, we will continue to engage with Mexico on this important issue.”

Vilsack also made it clear that the US would be willing to challenge Mexico under the dispute settlement mechanisms of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Obrador, according to his statement, said Mexico is ready to accept the challenge through the USMCA. The president of Mexico said that he confidently accepts such a challenge, but also hopes that it will not come to that.

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