6 states hit hardest with Mexico GM corn ban in place

Farmers in six states would be hurt hardest if Mexico follows through with its proposed ban on genetically modified corn.

Ohio State University professor Ian Sheldon says Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Louisiana are the top exporters to Mexico.

“This would be a little bit like putting a prohibitive tariff on our exports to Mexico, and I think in the short to medium-term that would have a significant effect on corn prices. Which would then feed back into farmers’ margins, at least in the short run.”

Mexico accounted for more than 70 percent of corn exports from Illinois, compared to just 2 percent for Ohio.

He tells Brownfield some farmers might be able to eventually produce non-GMO corn for the Mexican market.

“But I think given the amount of that corn that is yellow corn and given the amount of it that is probably genetically modified, and given that most of that is going into the Mexican animal feeding system, it would really be quite harmful both to those states that are big exporters but to all other states that produce corn (as well).”

Sheldon says Mexico has yet to respond to a letter from U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai sent in early March and pressure is mounting on her office to initiate the dispute settlement mechanism of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement. 

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