Mexico farm lobby blast ban on GMO corn; Organic growers have welcomed it –

Mexico farm lobby blast ban on GMO corn; Organic growers have welcomed it

Monterrey, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico’s main agricultural lobby on Saturday criticized the government’s decision to ban genetically modified corn, while organic growers praised the move that should protect small farmers.

FILE PHOTO: On February 7, 2017 in Otzolotepec, on the outskirts of Mexico City, a farmer has planted a variety of corn pellets. Picture taken on February 7, 2017. REUTERS / Carlos Jasso

Mexico “will refrain from granting permits to release modified and genetically modified corn seeds into the environment,” said in a decree issued Thursday evening, which also ended the phase out of GMO corn imports by 2024.

Proponents of GMO Corn say the ban on domestic farming will limit Mexican farmers’ choices, while phasing out its imports could impact the food chain.

“The lack of access to production options puts us at a disadvantage compared to our competitors, such as corn farmers in the United States,” said Laura Tamayo, spokesman for the National Farm Council of Mexico.

“On the other hand, the import of genetically modified grains from the US is required for many products in the agricultural product range,” said Tamayo, a regional corporate director for Bayer, whose agricultural unit designed for Monsanto Wedcock Roundup and GMO Corn has gone. Avoid application of pesticides.

Opponents of genetically modified crops celebrated the ban.

“It’s a big win,” said Homero Blas, head of the Organic Producers Society of Mexico.

Opponents of GMO crops say they contaminate centuries-old native varieties of corn and encourage the use of dangerous pesticides that endanger public health and harm biodiversity.

Mexico is largely self-sufficient in the white corn used to make the country’s staple tortillas, but most of the United States’ GMOs for livestock feed depend on imports of yellow corn.

It was unclear whether the decree would phase out imported GMO corn for livestock, or whether the rules would only apply to corn grown for human consumption.

The rules mandate a phase out of the use of herbicide glyphosate used in Roundup in 2024, the same year Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obredor left office.

Bayer claimed to pay $ 10.9 billion to settle around 100,000 American lawsuits, claiming that Roundup caused cancer.

Reporting by Laura Göttesdaner; Editing by David Gregorio


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