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MEXICO CITY — The U.S. authorities has escalated its commerce dispute over proposed Mexican limits on genetically modified corn, asking Monday for formal consultations with Mexico on the problem.

The U.S. Commerce Consultant’s workplace introduced it has referred to as for consultations with Mexico over proposed guidelines that might ban GM corn for human consumption; Mexico says it might ultimately ban it for animal feed as nicely.

The commerce consultant’s workplace stated the ban might “threaten to disrupt billions of {dollars} in agricultural commerce.”

Mexico is the main importer of U.S. corn, most of which is genetically modified. Virtually all is fed to cattle, pigs and chickens in Mexico, which doesn’t develop sufficient feed corn to produce itself.

Mexico argues GM corn could have well being results, even when used as fodder, however hasn’t offered proof. If the problem isn’t solved in consultations, it might result in a dispute decision panel or commerce sanctions below the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free commerce settlement, often known as the USMCA.

“America has repeatedly conveyed our critical considerations with Mexico’s biotechnology insurance policies and the significance of adopting a science-based method that complies with its USMCA commitments,” U.S. Commerce Consultant Katherine Tai stated in a press release.

“Mexico’s insurance policies threaten to disrupt billions of {dollars} in agricultural commerce and they’ll stifle the innovation that’s essential to deal with the local weather disaster and meals safety challenges if left unaddressed,” in keeping with the assertion.

Mexico’s Economic system Division pressured in a press release Monday that the problem shouldn’t be but a commerce dispute, although consultations are step one in that course of, and expressed confidence it may very well be labored out.

Mexico had beforehand appeared wanting to keep away from a serious showdown with the USA on the corn subject — however not keen sufficient to utterly drop speak of any ban.

In February, Mexico’s Economic system Division issued new guidelines that dropped the date for substituting imports of GM feed corn. Some imported corn can also be floor into meal to be used in corn chips or different snacks.

Beneath a earlier model of the principles, some U.S. growers apprehensive a GM feed corn ban might occur as quickly as 2024 or 2025.

Whereas the date was dropped, the language remained within the guidelines about ultimately substituting GM corn, one thing that might trigger costs for meat to skyrocket in Mexico, the place inflation is already excessive.

U.S. farmers have apprehensive concerning the potential lack of the only largest export marketplace for U.S. corn. Mexico has been importing GM feed corn from the U.S. for years, shopping for about $3 billion price yearly.

The brand new guidelines nonetheless say Mexican authorities will perform “the gradual substitution” of GM feed and milled corn, however units no date for doing so and says potential well being points would be the topic of examine by Mexican specialists “with well being authorities from different international locations.”

“Relating to the usage of genetically modified corn for animal feed and industrial use, the date for prohibiting its use has been eradicated,” the Economic system Division stated within the assertion. “Working teams will probably be arrange with the home and worldwide personal sector to attain an orderly transition.”

Mexico was the place corn was first domesticated beginning round 9,000 years in the past, and in an effort to shield its native varieties, the nation will nonetheless ban imports of GM seed corn.

Mexico may also prohibit the usage of GM corn for direct human consumption, which in Mexico consists primarily of contemporary white corn and white corn tortilla flour. Mexico has no have to import white corn from the USA, the place most corn is yellow or candy corn.

America has additionally been angered by Mexico’s limits on international and personal electrical energy vegetation in Mexico, however the U.S. authorities has not but taken that subject to the USMCA dispute decision course of.

America says Mexico is unfairly favoring its state-owned electrical energy and oil corporations over American rivals and clean-energy suppliers. Canada additionally has joined in that grievance. Mexico says it’s defending a majority share of its home vitality marketplace for the state-owned energy firm.

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