NCGA caught off guard by Mexico’s GMO corn decree

An executive with the National Corn Growers Association says they were caught off guard by Mexico’s latest announcement regarding restrictions on genetically modified corn imports.

NCGA Vice President of Communications and Industry Relations Neil Caskey says they are still trying to understand the full implications of the decree.

“The implications of a ban like this are broad and I think there is some disagreement on what it means exactly. Obviously, we are just a few hours into getting our hands on that decree for the first time. But, it feels like there could be an immediate problem for us to have to reconcile.”

Talking to farm broadcasters at the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference in Springfield Tuesday, he says the decree is now effective immediately instead of waiting until 2024, so swift action needs to be taken.

“We have always believed that this was going to ultimately be resolved through the dispute settlement process of the US Mexico Canada Agreement. We are told the process could take up to 9 months, but our understanding is that this decree is effective today, so suddenly a 9-month time frame that seemed ok yesterday, is now way too long. So, today we are urging the administration to start that process immediately.”

Caskey says the US ships about $10 billion worth of corn product to Mexico each year, which is now at risk. He says a ban on GMO corn could also increase food prices by 19% in Mexico and have a $19 billion impact on Mexico’s GDP. “This is by definition a lose-lose proposition, and we are hopeful we are going to get to a resolution as quick as possible.”

In a statement, USDA tells Brownfield they are also disappointed in Mexico’s new decree regarding genetically modified corn upon initial review. USDA is carefully reviewing the details and plans to work with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure their science-based, rules-based commitment remains firm.

Neil Caskey speaks at a press conference during the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Governmental Affairs Leadership Conference
  • “Science based” these day means political/economics, not science. Farmers need to get on the regenerative ban wagon and stop listening to government and academics who know nothing about real farming.

  • Best news ever. GM corn and glyphosate arre proven to be destructive to soil life and Roundup-typle chelators are harmful to human health – and found in nearly all people’s bodies. Bravo Mexico. American corn farmers just gotta get with the new program and build soil health, bring back heritage grains, and stop poisoning the Earth, our bodies, and our food supply.

  • I live in the USA, and I don’t want your stinking GMO crap.

    • It’s been government over health for a long time along with the almighty dollar that they can swindle from the farmers. Greed is what it is greed. thank you Mexico for bringing this about. Now the American farmers need to step up and do what is right.

  • It is not that genetically modified plants are bad. Working to naturally select certain plant traits is the best genetic-engineering we can do. It’s when we solely plant monoculture in a new genetically modified or selected plant repeatedly, that our great plant diversity begins to fail. We have lost or have reduced numbers of many species of grains and vegetables. If we can not recover those genetic traits, we are in trouble. Although those plants might not have the highest “productivity”, they have many other desirable traits, such as nutrition, drought resistance, insect resistance, cultural significance, etc…

    This is what the Mexico, the birthplace of maize, is fighting against.

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