Canada issues statement on US-Mexico corn dispute

Canada issues statement on US-Mexico corn dispute
Aug 28, 2023

Canada joins US in challenging Mexico's ban on GMO corn, saying it is not scientifically justified.

Mexico banned the use of genetically engineered corn in tortillas and dough earlier this year. Canada is concerned about this ban because it could hurt farmers and consumers in both countries. Canada is joining the United States to challenge Mexico's ban, saying it is unjustified and could disrupt trade.

On February 13, 2023, Mexico made a big decision. They said no to using genetically changed corn in tortillas and dough. They also plan to stop using this type of corn in all foods for people and animals.

This move by Mexico has not gone unnoticed. Neighboring nations, specifically the United States and Canada, have expressed their reservations. They believe that Mexico's decision does not align with the scientific evidence and risk analysis obligations set by the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), particularly under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Chapter.

The US was swift to initiate dispute settlement proceedings under CUSMA. Not staying far behind, Canada announced its intention to be a part of these proceedings as a third party in June.

On Friday, August 25, the Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, and the Honorable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued the following statements:

"Canada will participate as a third party in the dispute settlement proceedings initiated by the United States under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) regarding the use of genetically engineered corn in tortillas and dough."

"Canada shares the concerns of the United States that Mexico is not compliant with the science and risk analysis obligations under CUSMA’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Chapter. Canada believes that the measures taken by Mexico are not scientifically supported and have the potential to unnecessarily disrupt trade in the North American market."

"Canada will continue to ensure stability and resilience for Canadian farmers and the agricultural sector for years to come.”

Ng and MacAulay believe that Mexico's measures lack a strong scientific foundation. Moreover, there's a prevailing concern that such restrictions might lead to unnecessary trade disturbances in the North American market, a scenario that none of the parties would desire.

Trade problems are growing, but Canada wants to keep its farming stable and strong. By joining the disagreement, Canada is showing it cares about this. People watching trade in North America are waiting to see what happens next. It's uncertain how the three countries will solve this issue and what it means for future crops that are genetically changed in the area.

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