The United States initiated a second formal request for consultations against Mexico, now under Chapter 31 of dispute settlement of the T-MEC, considering the lack of scientific evidence from the Mexican government to justify the ban on imports of transgenic corn for human consumption.
The first request was in March, when the head of the United States Trade Representative Office (USTR), Katherine Tai, requested this process under Chapter 9 of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the T-MEC.
The new application may result in a panel and it comes a day after 62 Republican US representatives asked the USTR to initiate a panel against Mexico, because the federal government issued a decree in December 2020 to prohibit the use, production, commercialization and distribution of genetically modified corn.
However, after the US disagreed, the decree was modified on February 13 to a ban on genetically modified corn only for human consumption.
“The US has repeatedly conveyed its concern that Mexico’s biotech policies are not science-based and threaten to disrupt US exports to Mexico to the detriment of agricultural producers, which may exacerbate food security challenges,” Tai said. .
Through the Ministry of Economy, the Mexican government confirmed that it received the request to start consultations.
Through a constructive dialogue and hand in hand with other dependencies of the Mexican government, Economía He responded that he will demonstrate “with hard data and evidence” that the exclusive use of native corn for the dough and the tortilla has no affectation or commercial interest for the United States and that, thanks to the new decree, Cofepris has been able to authorize new seeds of biotech corn and reassess previous negotiations.
The agency pointed out that, although the decree proposes that the industry and the forage sector transition from using genetically modified to non-modified corn, this will not mean trade restrictions, as indicated in the USTR request for consultations.
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