Por Tom Polansek
ANKENY, US, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Mexico’s agriculture secretary said the country will not limit imports of genetically modified (GMO) corn from the United States, during a meeting with his US counterpart Tom Vilsack on Wednesday in Iowa.
At the end of last year, Mexico published a decree with which it intends to eliminate imports of corn, mainly genetically modified and for human consumption, but did not define which products would be included, generating confusion in the agricultural industry.
The Government committed to substitute imports with local production by 2024.
Mexico is the second largest buyer of US corn, after China. The Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Víctor Villalobos, said that the country will not allow the cultivation of transgenic corn but will allow imports from its northern neighbor.
“We will continue to require and demand corn from the United States,” the official told reporters, highlighting that Mexico depends on grain “for agro-industries.”
For his part, Vilsack said the seeds are the next thing the Department of Agriculture will consider under a government order on competition.
The administration of US President Joe Biden plans to study the seed industry to see “why it is structured the way it is structured,” Vilsack said. “You wonder if these long-term patents make sense.”
Companies like Bayer AG and Corteva Inc develop genetically modified seeds and herbicides that other companies can only produce once a patent expires.