LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) are urging Mexico and the Biden Administration to reach an agreement by following the science of genetically modified (GM) corn. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has clearly violated the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade pact by issuing a decree to ban the imports of GM corn. NeCGA has repeatedly requested an USMCA enforcement case be initiated.
Mexico has published a decree calling for a phase-out of GM corn for human consumption in Mexico by January of 2024. This is determinantal to not only U.S. farmers but the Mexico economy. If the GM corn ban is implemented, the World Perspectives, Inc. (WPI) study estimates that Mexico will create an additional $5.6 billion burden for the economy just to afford the same amount of product they currently have. The WPI report also finds that the first year the GM ban is implemented, tortilla prices will increase by 30% and then 42% in the second year. This is destructive to the Mexican economy and their consumers. It is doubtful Mexico will be able to fully replace the lost U.S. products used for human consumption and possibly livestock feed, no matter where corn is purchased.
Mexico has indicated a willingness to make a deal to annually exempt U.S. feed corn, but no deal is being considered on white corn for direct human consumption, according to a statement issued by the office of Mexican President AMLO.
“Continuing the ban on white corn is a non-starter for Nebraska corn farmers and in the strongest terms, I implore Ambassador Tai to initiate an enforcement case within theUSMCA rules. It’s vital to the success of U.S. farmers, agriculture, and our country’s economy,” Andy Jobman, NeCGA president, states. “We must stand up for what is right, science-based, and ultimately the best decision for the U.S. economy. We cannot and will not allow opinions to trump science.”
In October, NeCGA President, Andy Jobman, a farmer from Gothenburg, Nebraska published an opinion piece urging President AMLO and Ambassador Tai to protect, support and expand trade for U.S. products, including GM corn. However, the Biden Administration and the office of United States Trade Representative (USTR) have been timid about engaging in trade discussions abroad. Science has continually proven GM corn is not only safe but also necessary to produce enough food and agricultural products for a growing world.
“We must continue to follow the science,” Jay Reiners, NCB Chairman states. “The U.S. cannot sacrifice the growing of white corn which is used for human consumption for yellow corn and livestock feed. We must have the ability to feed the population of Mexico. Agriculture uses science, and Mexico’s decree doesn’t follow decades of science we’ve used and trusted.”
Genetic technology has increased the resiliency of crops to meet a growing population and reach new markets. Genetically modified crops have farmers across the U.S. to farm with reduced tillage and chemical application. Nebraska Corn implores the Biden Administration to stand on the agreement of USMCA.
The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushelcheckoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.
The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) is a grassroots commodity organization that works to enhance the profitability of corn producers. NeCGA has more than 2,500 dues-paying members in Nebraska. NeCGA is affiliated with the National Corn Growers Association, which has more than 40,000 dues-paying members nationwide.
— Nebraska Corn Board