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Some grain producers want to sell Mexico non-GMO corn

Ag secretary expects the U.S. will 'ultimately compel' Mexico to reverse policy; some farmers think we should take a step back.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Corn VIA PIXABAY Feb 2021

Some farmers say the U.S. should agree to sell Mexico non-genetically modified (GM) corn rather than deepen a trade dispute over the biotech corn ban.

Mexico is the largest buyer of U.S. corn and the proposed restrictions threaten to disrupt some of the nearly $5 billion of corn the U.S. ships to Mexico annually, or 95% of Mexico's total corn imports.

  • In February, Mexico discarded a deadline to ban genetically modified (GM) corn for animal feed and industrial use amid trade tensions with the U.S.
  • In March, the U.S. said restrictions would violate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and requested trade consultations with Mexico.

According to a report at Reuters, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on March 30 that he expects the administration will "ultimately compel" Mexico to reverse its policy. The restrictions are not supported by science and fail to adhere to a rules-based trading relationship, he said.

But some producers say the U.S. should take a step back, noting they could earn a premium for growing more conventional corn.

Though there is no hard data on U.S. farmers' opinions, Reuters spoke to about 10 growers and grain traders who said the U.S. should not require Mexico to continue importing GM corn.

Related reading

U.S. challenges biotech corn ban with Mexico

'All options' considered in biotech corn dispute with Mexico

Mexico scraps biotech corn deadline for animal feed, industrial use

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