OTTAWA, ONT. — The Canadian government said it will participate as a third party in the dispute settlement proceedings between the United States and Mexico regarding the use of genetically modified corn in tortillas and dough.
Lawrence MacAuley, minister of agriculture and food, and Mary Ng, minister of export promotion, international trade and economic development, said Canada sides with the United States regarding its stance on the issue.
“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,” the minsters said. “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.”
On Feb. 13, Mexico issued a presidential decree that banned the use of genetically engineered corn in tortillas and dough and states an intent to gradually substitute the use of biotechnology corn in all products for human consumption and animal feed.
Tortillas are mostly made with white corn, most of which is domestic production. The country imports about $5 billion in corn from the United States each year, mostly yellow GM corn for livestock feed.
Earlier this week, Mexico announced that it will not make any additional changes to its decree on genetically modified (GM) corn ahead of a dispute settlement panel requested by the United States.
On Aug. 17, the United States requested formation of the dispute panel with the Mexican government under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Chapter of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to address its complaint that Mexico’s ban on genetically modified corn violates the free-trade deal.