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World U.S. says Mexico plan to ban GMO corn imports does not apply to animal feed

00:40  27 march  2021
00:40  27 march  2021 Source:   reuters.com

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U . S . Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Mexico ’ s plan to phase out imports of genetically modified corn doesn’t currently apply to grain used as livestock feed . Mexico ’ s agriculture and economy ministries said in January that they would phase in over three years a ban on genetically modified corn that includes animal feed . ”It’ s not going to have as great an impact as it would if it was everything all at once all now,” Vilsack said in a speech delivered online to the National Press Club on Friday.

Mexico is sticking to a plan to stop importing genetically modified corn and a ban on a widely used herbicide, a senior official told Reuters, doubling down on a policy that has pleased green advocates but alarmed industry leaders. The plan announced late last year by executive order aims to replace some 16 million tonnes of yellow corn imported mostly from U . S . farmers and nearly all of it genetically modified Asked if the Dec. 31 decree applied to animal feed as well processed foods that include GMO corn , Suarez said that the law covers all food that "will eventually reach human consumption."

By Tom Polansek

a close up of a flag: FILE PHOTO: A U.S. and Iowa state flag are seen next to a corn field in Grand Mound © Reuters/Jim Young FILE PHOTO: A U.S. and Iowa state flag are seen next to a corn field in Grand Mound

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Friday that a Mexican plan to ban imports of genetically modified (GMO) corn would apply to grain used for human food products, not livestock feed, based on recent talks he had with Mexican Agriculture Secretary Victor Villalobos Arambula.

a man walking through a cloudy sky: FILE PHOTO: Armando Villareal, a Chihuahua farmer and GMO advocate, points at corn hectare © Reuters/Tomas Bravo FILE PHOTO: Armando Villareal, a Chihuahua farmer and GMO advocate, points at corn hectare

Vilsack said limiting the ban to food products makes a big difference to U.S. farmers, who have long relied on Mexico as a top export market.

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is sticking to a plan to stop importing genetically modified corn and a ban on a widely used herbicide, a senior official told Reuters, doubling down on a policy that has pleased green advocates but alarmed industry leaders. The plan announced late last year by executive order aims to replace some 16 million tonnes of yellow corn imported mostly from U . S . farmers and nearly all of it genetically modified , with new, local production by 2024. The imports represent more than a third of the country' s demand for the grain, and mostly feed Mexico ' s large livestock industry.

Mexico has identified a potential weapon in its trade wrangle with US President Donald Trump: lucrative yellow cobs of American corn . The Latin American nation imports billions of dollars' worth of the yellow grain from the United States to feed its livestock. Trump has vowed to restrict free trade with Mexico Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as Biden' s running mate over the summer, and after Biden slotted Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) into the HUD spot, Bottoms' choices seemed to be slimming. But as sources tell The New Yorker' s Charles Bethea, Bottoms was offered a role as the U . S . ambassador to the Bahamas

"It's not going to have as great an impact as it would if it was everything all at once all now," he said at a virtual event hosted by the National Press Club.

Vilsack said U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai has also addressed the plan with Mexico and that there is a process under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) for raising such issues.

"I am confident that these conversations will continue to be raised and concerns will be voiced," Vilsack said. "As they are, there are processes that could potentially be used."

Mexico's agriculture ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mexico late last year published an executive order that seeks to ban in three years the use of GMO corn for human consumption, but did not define what products would be included. The government has pledged to substitute imports with local production by 2024.

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GMO alfalfa is primarily used to feed cattle—mostly dairy cows. Most GMO alfalfa is resistant to herbicides, allowing farmers to spray the crops to protect them against destructive weeds that can reduce alfalfa production and lower the nutritional quality of the hay. The FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine manages this responsibility. FDA requires that all food for animals , like food for human foods, be safe for animals to eat, be produced under clean conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be accurately labeled.

The company won import approval from Mexico and South Korea in September and from Japan in August. It also has import approval from Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan. Viptera received U . S . approval in 2010 and has been awaiting approval from China for more than two years. Syngenta has been discussing the launch of Duracade with the National Corn Growers Association (NGFA) to "try to find a way to introduce this into the commercial stream that does not provide a tremendous amount of risk," said Nathan Fields, the association' s director of biotechnology and economic analysis.

Victor Suarez, Mexico's deputy agriculture minister, told Reuters last month the plan covers all food that "will eventually reach human consumption."

He alleged that GMO corn contaminates Mexico’s native strains of the grain.

Last year, Mexican feed companies used about 11.1 million tonnes of imported corn, the vast majority of it sourced from U.S. farmers, which represented nearly 70% of the sector’s total corn purchases for the year, according to data from national feed association CONAFAB.

Mexico imported around 16 million tonnes of mostly GMO corn in 2020.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago and David Alire Garcia in Mexico City; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy)

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usr: 1
This is interesting!