Minnesota corn farmer disheartened by Mexico GM corn ban

There’s heightened concern about U.S. market impact as Mexico moves forward with its ban on genetically modified corn.

Minnesota farmer Jim O’Connor says the Mexican government is not abiding by the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement.

“It really is disheartening, however there are procedures and we just have to follow those procedures I guess at this point.”

O’Connor serves on the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, the National Corn Growers Association ethanol team, and recently was elected to the U.S. Grains Council board of directors.

He tells Brownfield he’s encouraged by the U.S. Trade Representative requesting a dispute resolution panel.

“This is a step where basically representatives are appointed and their responsibility is to look at all sides of this and come to some sort of a ruling.”

O’Connor says he’s confident the panel will rule in favor of GMO corn because there is no scientific evidence showing biotech crops are hazardous to human health. 

  • Mr. O’Connor needs to know that we don’t control Mexico. They are their own sovereign nation and have a right to say no to GMOs or any other contaminants they don’t want in their food supply, pollution in their ground and water, and that they have the right to reject anything they don’t want. Any trade agreement has to go both ways in benefit/detriment so each side has the capacity to not be bullied into taking what they have no desire for. Looks like the council and growers he represents don’t think the same way. Try that on them and just see what the reaction is. It’d be exactly the same, or they’d sue them in US courts.

    • The difference is they already signed a trade agreement. This move appears to be a violation of something they already agreed to. You’re correct that ultimately, they could walk away from the mutually beneficial trade deal that is in place or violate it, but contractually, the US and Canada do have recourse. They may not be able to “control” Mexico but they can have restrictions imposed on the import of their goods north or face tariffs and the like potentially. It would likely be in everyone’s best interest to find an amicable solution, but to say that the largest economy in the world just north of Mexico can’t influence Mexico’s economy because sovereignty is not accurate. Sovereign states still have to eat.

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