Mexican authorities to clarify whether GM ban applies to corn imports for use in feed

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/robertcicchetti
© GettyImages/robertcicchetti

Related tags: GM corn, ban, Mexico, imports

Mexican officials will meet with producers to decide on whether a new ban on genetically modified corn will apply to animal feed.

The meeting will take place “toward the end​” of the coming week, the Mexican ministry of agriculture and rural development said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. The ministry will discuss the issue with producers along the supply chain, it said.

Mexico has banned the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) corn and will phase out imports over the next three years as part of the government’s efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, according to a decree it issued on December 31.

It was unclear whether the decree will phase out imported GM corn for livestock, or whether the rules will only apply to corn grown for human consumption though.

Mexico uses its own white corn to make the staple food, tortillas, but the country relies on imports of mostly GM yellow corn for livestock feed.  

Mexico is one of the world’s main importers of GM crops and until recently, there have been few or no trade barriers.

To date, the country has been the world’s second largest importer of GM corn​, mainly from the US, Brazil and Argentina, according to the USDA data. Imports have increased in recent years, reaching more than 18m metric tons (MT) in MY 2020/21.

After China and the EU, Mexico is the world’s third largest importer of soybeans, importing 96% of the soybeans used in the country, mainly from the US and Brazil. Soybean imports are expected to increase by 100,000 MT in MY 2020/21 to reach 6.1m MT because of the moderate increase in feed demand, strong processor demand, and population growth.

And almost all rapeseed consumed in Mexico is imported from Canada and the US, with only a small amount produced domestically.

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