Mexico considers adding GMO corn ban to the constitution

The proposal to declare Mexico a transgenic crops-free country in the constitution seems to be going unnoticed by the general public, but not by the feed industry.

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On February 5, Constitution Day in Mexico, the Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) decided to present 20 constitutional reform proposals, less than nine months before finishing his administration.

I have heard many comments about these proposals. They say that all the social proposals – such as retirement pensions, salaries, scholarships and so on – will not have any problems in passing. The opposition will not pose any arguments against those. But problems might rise with others.

One of the proposals is the ongoing battle on transgenic corn and human consumption and the fuzzy ties with animal feeding that this government has undertaken. Nonetheless, one of the surprising things is that the general media did not even mention this very important matter, something that affects daily life. They do mention animal welfare or fracking, for instance. I mean, I am talking about well-known publications, such as the Mexican “Expansión” or the Spanish “El País,” that say nothing about transgenic corn when enumerating the 20 proposals. Forbes did mention it, with statements from the National Ag Council president.

This transgenic corn “soap opera” has been going for several years. It was supposed to end this past January, but the timetable has moved it to November of this year, exactly when AMLO will be president no more.

The proposal sent by the president mentions many important aspects, such as toxicity of fertilizers (like glyphosate), scientific research “independent from multinationals,” biological diversity and others, as well as recognizing corn as a basic staple and an element of national identity, free of genetic modifications.

I think biological diversity has to be maintained, but how do we produce more non-genetically modified corn at affordable prices to “guarantee needs and ambitions of present and future generations?” The Nagoya protocol is mentioned as well as the Federal Law for Promotion and Protection of Native Corn. But how are we going to abide by the terms of United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement? To put it simply. How are we going to feed poultry or swine and therefore people? Are their plans to create another international conflict?

The use of transgenic corn in animal feeds and its imports remains unclear. Hopefully, this proposal will not pass, or the new upcoming government will change their ideas.

What do you think?

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