U.S. Grains Council says U.S-Mexico-Canada dispute panel is a “high stakes case”

A dispute panel under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is expected to rule this fall on Mexico’s ban on GM corn. Andrew Brandt, director of trade policy for the U.S. Grains Council says, “It is a very high stakes case.”

Brandt says protecting the use of GM technology to a top export market for the U.S. is critical. “If they are able to unfairly or unjustly stigmatize the entire biotechnology and plant science industry, the ramifications for that will go far beyond just the Mexico-U.S. relationship,” he says.

Brandt says Canada also participated in the hearing and was on the same side as the U.S. 

He tells Brownfield the dispute panel is expected to release its decision later this fall, after Mexico’s new president is installed. “She will be the one who gets to decide how to respond if hopefully Mexico has lost the dispute pane,” he says.  “She will be in charge of the government and just make the decisions on how to bring Mexico into compliance.  Which from our perspective would be just to get rid of the decree.”

He says he’s optimistic the panel will consider the science and reaffirm that the use of biotechnology is safe.

The National Corn Growers Association says the U.S. Trade Representative made a strong case during the hearing.  Minnesota farmer and NCGA president Harold Wolle says U.S. officially successfully argued that the Mexican government does not have the scientific evidence to support its actions or claims. 

The panel hearing the case is expected to render a decision toward the end of November.

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