Mexico "Still Hasn't Seen Science" From US Proving Genetically Modified Corn Is Safe

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Mar 08, 2024 - 12:20 AM

Mexico submitted an official reply to the United States in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade dispute about importing genetically modified (GM) corn. Mexico argued that the herbicide glyphosate in the corn is unsafe for human consumption. Corn plays a vital role in the Mexican diet, particularly as the primary ingredient for tortilla flour.

In a written submission to a USMCA panel, Mexico, the top buyer of US corn, used science to show how GM corn and Glyphosate harm human health. This has given Mexico the authority to ban GM corn for human consumption. 

The submission outlined policies aimed at safeguarding consumers against the potential health effects of GM corn, asserting that these measures would have minimal trade impacts on US farmers.

Here are the most critical parts of Mexico's submission (list courtesy of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (ITAP)): 

  • The scientific evidence of GMO safety presented by the US is out of date, much of it from industry studies not supported by peer-review. According to Mexico, the US did not present any peer-reviewed study showing it safe to eat large quantities of GM corn exposed to Glyphosate in minimally processed form over a lifetime. Mexico makes the case that the US regulatory process is not stringent enough ensure that products are safe for Mexicans to consume at high levels. 

  • On public health, the submission details that GM corn, especially Bt corn engineered to kill insect pests, can have adverse impacts on non-target animals. Mammals have been shown to suffer damage to their digestive systems from a GM trait that kills its targets by attacking their guts. 

  • Mexican tortillas have been proven to be contaminated with GM corn and Glyphosate, the latter in residues from treatments of GM corn engineered to tolerate the herbicide featured in Roundup. Mexico shows that even low-level exposures can have negative long-term health impact. 

Mexican Deputy Agriculture Secretary Victor Suarez told Reuters:

The United States "argues that the decisions in Mexico are not based on science and that their decisions are ... But we still haven't seen the science of the United States or the companies. We are looking forward to that study with great pleasure."

Karen Hansen-Kuhn, IATP's director of trade and international strategies, wrote in a statement: 

"We welcome this vigorous defense of Mexico's programs to transform its food system. The science they present backs up longstanding civil society campaigns for healthy foods and biodiverse agricultural systems. There's a lot here that could contribute to more substantive debates on our food and agriculture system in the US, as well." 

IATP Senior Advisor Timothy A. Wise said: 

"Ever since Mexico first announced its intentions to limit GM corn and glyphosate in its tortilla chain, the US government has asserted that Mexico's policies are not based on science." 

Wise continued:

"This comprehensive response refutes that claim, presenting hundreds of academic studies that show cause for concern about human health and the threat to native corn diversity."

Agri-chemical companies like Bayer have spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing GM crops for worldwide export out of the US. They also spend tens of millions of dollars in defending GM foods. 

Meanwhile, Glyphosate is banned or limited in at least 25 countries and some areas within the United States. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared Glyphosate a probable human carcinogen. 

Maybe Mexico is right. Question the chemicals in the food. 

Are GMO foods the reason why there are more increased celiac and gluten sensitivity cases?