Mexico GMO corn ban could have far reaching consequences

A government relations specialist for Syngenta says if Mexico proceeds with its ban on GM corn, it could open Pandora’s Box.

Mary Kay Thatcher with Syngenta says if Mexico’s ban on GM corn and crop protection products like glyphosate goes into effect it sets precedent for the future, “Are they going to quit with GMO corn? No. If they get that done, I think soybeans are next. Are they going to quit with glyphosate? No, they’ll pick some other pesticide, be it atrazine, be it chlorpyrifos, whatever it may be.”

Thatcher says it’s become a personal issue for Mexico’s President and “Nothing short of the President of the United States going to the President of Mexico and raising this as an issue is going to work. So, we pushed Mr. Trump to do it, it never happened, we’ve pushed Mr. Biden to do it, it never happened. It has got to be raised to the point where this President will decide he’s willing to use some chips and go to the President of Mexico and say, ‘this has to stop’.”

Thatcher says Mexico’s administration is considering direct agreements with farmers from the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil to secure non-GMO yellow corn ahead of the country’s ban on GM products that goes into effect January 2024.

But it won’t be easy, “It’s not like you can flip a switch and a farmer tomorrow is going switch from one to the other and it’s certainly not like a seed company can all of a sudden decide tomorrow they’re going to put a lot more on the market, because our process starts three or four years ago.”

Mexico is the top market for US corn and the #2 market for all US ag goods.

Brownfield’s Meghan Grebner spoke with Thatcher in New Orleans at the 2022 Syngenta Media Summit.

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