Mexico to Replace 16 Million Tons of GMO Corn with Native Maize

Mexico plans to phase out Monsanto’s corn imports, replace with local, heirloom varieties by 2024

In addition to banning Monsanto/Bayer’s cancer-causing Roundup herbicide by 2024, Mexico is now pledging to rid the country of GMO corn by the same date.

To do so, it plans to gradually replace 16 million tons in annual imports of GMO corn from the United States with ancient, indigenous varieties.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador first made the decree on January 2, noting that bio-security authorities would “revoke and refrain from granting permits for the release of genetically modified corn seeds into the environment.”

Following through with that promise, Mexican health safety regulators just denied a permit for Monsanto/Bayer’s latest GMO corn variety last month.

The goal is to “contribute to food security and sovereignty” and protect “native corn, cornfields, bio-cultural wealth, farming communities, gastronomic heritage and the health of Mexicans,” the President’s decree stated.

While Mexico has never permitted commercial cultivation of GMO corn, it has for decades allowed imports of GMO varieties used mostly for livestock feed and in some highly processed food ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup.

As of 2024, GMO corn and glyphosate (main ingredient in Roundup) will be banned entirely for human consumption. It is not yet clear whether it will be banned for livestock consumption.