Mexico Scores Major Victory Against Bayer-Owned Monsanto As Corn War With US Reaches Pivotal Moment

“Reason has ultimately prevailed in favour of life, health, nature, biodiversity and food sovereignty.”

After a four-year legal battle on multiple fronts with Mexico’s AMLO government, Monsanto has finally thrown in the towel. Last Tuesday, Mexico’s National Council of Humanities, Sciences and Technologies (Conahcyt) announced that two Mexican divisions of Monsanto — now subsidiaries of German chemicals giant, Bayer, which in 2018 acquired Monsanto in arguably the worst ever corporate merger — had dropped their law suits against the Mexican government over its intention to ban genetically modified corn.

As readers may recall, Mexico’s outgoing President Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador signed a presidential decree in 2020 seeking to ban all use and importation of GMO corn and the toxic weedkiller, glyphosate. His government has also placed import restrictions on white corn, which is generally used for human consumption in Mexico. The reasons cited for doing so include protecting the health of the population, the environment and Mexico’s genetic diversity of maize.

But this is not just about biotech. It is about increasing Mexican food sovereignty by reducing the threat of unfair US competition in the global corn market. As even the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an international affairs think tank, recently conceded, US corn has dominated Mexico over the past three decades for one main reason: thanks to NAFTA, the scales have been stacked in the favour of US growers:

[T]he main reason US corn dominates the market is because the federal government heavily subsidizes corn production, to the point where American corn can be sold at prices well below the cost of production. Mexico has no such policies. In fact, the Mexican government eliminated nearly all price support for its agricultural sector as a part of NAFTA. As a result, US corn flooded the market, causing corn prices to plummet by as much as 66 percent.This drop forced many Mexican producers out of business.

In response to the AMLO government’s proposed ban on GMO corn, global agrochemical companies and seed manufacturers, including Bayer, and the Mexican lobbying associations that tirelessly represent their interests (Proccyt, AC and the National Agricultural Council) unleashed a wave of over 30 amparos (judicial protective orders) aiming to declare the decree unconstitutional. However, the vast majority of these trials have been concluded with rulings unfavourable to the companies involved or their lobbying associations.

A Rare Exception

But one of the cases filed by Monsanto/Bayer offered a rare exception. In 2022, Judge Francisco Rebolledo Peña ruled in favor of Monsanto with (in the words of the Mexican pro-government media outlet Regeneración) “a controversial, contradictory and partial ruling that ignored the evidence provided by the authorities.” That ruling was swiftly appealed by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) and Conahyct.

In the resulting trial, Conahcyt provided scientific and legal defences, presenting more than 250 pieces of evidence to support the government’s 2020 decree. The appeal ultimately resulted in Mexico’s Fourth Collegiate Court on Administrative Matters rejecting Monsanto’s arguments, citing human rights and environmental safety concerns.

In 2023, Monsanto filed another lawsuit, this time against AMLO’s modified decree which allowed the use of GMO corn in animal feed and the making of consumer products like cosmetics, textiles and paper while maintaining a ban on GM corn for human consumption, particularly in the use of making flour for tortillas, which are a staple of the Mexican diet. The changes to the law meant it would have limited impact on Mexican imports of US corn, at least during the short to medium term, since most of those imports are already used “for fodder and industrial uses.”

This later amparo was also shot down, this time by Judge Elizabeth Trejo Galán who in her ruling underscored the precedence of public over private interest (what a quaint notion!).

Last week, Monsanto’s owner, Bayer, finally threw in the towel altogether by withdrawing all of its legal challenges against the 2020 presidential decree. Conahcyt described Bayer’s retreat as a major legal victory for Mexico in which “reason ultimately prevailed in favour of life, health, nature, biodiversity and food sovereignty.” Noting that the legal victory over Monsanto highlights Mexico’s commitment to safeguarding public health and environmental integrity, Conahcyt pledged to continue working to ensure that GM corn and glyphosate are removed from the Mexican food supply.

A Four-Year Corn War

There is still plenty of work to do as Mexico’s four-year “Corn War” with its two USMCA partners, the United States and Canada, reaches a pivotal moment. As readers may recall, in August 2023 the US escalated its food fight with Mexico by calling for the formation of a dispute settlement panel under the USMCA North American trade deal to determine whether AMLO’s 2023 decree undermines the market access Mexico’s government agreed to provide in the USMCA.” Canada quickly joined the US’s dispute against Mexico.

We are now in the closing stages of this process. After hearing arguments from the Mexican and U.S. governments, as well as technical opinions from non-governmental entities, the three-member panel is scheduled to release its preliminary and final reports in Autumn. Last week, Mexico published its closing argument in the dispute, the English translation of which readers can assess here. It is 264 pages long and I have only had time to read the first 55 paragraphs (out of 633). Here are some key excerpts from that early section:

On the US government’s lack of science-based arguments:

“Mexico has demonstrated throughout this controversy that there are legitimate concerns related to risks to human health and the diversity of native maize derived from the consumption of GM maize and has presented the scientific basis for these concerns, which will be addressed in detail throughout this paper. Mexico is protecting its population, which basically subsists on corn, as it is legally obliged to do so. The United States superficially analyzes and criticizes the evidence and risk assessment prepared by Mexico, but in its criticisms, it does not present arguments backed by science to support its position, but simply disqualifies with adjectives.”

On the US government’s preference for data from old, industry-conducted scientific trials:

First, the United States appears to argue that authorizations for GM corn events that have
been previously issued by Cofepris [Mexico’s Ministry of Health] and other authorities, such as the FDA and EPA, prevent Mexico from modifying its conclusions about the safety of GM corn consumption and the health risks associated with direct consumption, as well as the risks to biodiversity and corn diversity (which includes native varieties). This is incorrect…

The United States cannot freeze the ability of Mexican authorities to protect its population
from the risks posed by GM corn and glyphosate based solely on those authorizations. Such action would be tantamount to ignoring, without reasonable justification, the scientific evidence, free of conflict of interest and available to date, that was presented by Mexico in the “Scientific Record on Glyphosate and GM Crops” (2020), prepared by Conahcyt, and the collection of relevant studies in the National Biosafety Information System (SNIB) maintained by Cibiogem.

On the other hand, the FDA assessment identified by the United States in footnote 34 of its
Rebuttal Submission were conducted, for the most part, between 1996 and 2002. These
assessments not only do not take into account the updated scientific evidence confirming the risks of GM corn identified by Mexico, but are part of voluntary consultation procedures that are based on information that is selected by the biotechnology developers themselves seeking authorization and do not contemplate an analysis of stacked events and their possible effects.

On the risk of genetic contamination:

“[In its arguments] the United States ignores the fact that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) itself has pointed out that “genetic modifications of plants are likely to be more complex perhaps involving multiple between-species transfers and this may lead to an increased chance of unintended effects … the possible implications of the differences with respect to health need to be considered”. This is a core part of the risks identified by Mexico.”

On US attempts to underplay role of glyphosate in cultivation of GMO corn for Mexico’s market (that’s right, the US government is essentially arguing that the rapidly rising health and environmental concerns about glyphosate, the toxic weedkiller that has already set back Bayer around $20 billion in payment penalties and litigation costs since 2018, the year it bought Monsanto, and could end up bankrupting the Germany company, should have no bearing whatsoever on Mexico’s right to ban GMO corn and glyphosate):

“The United States argues that the damages arising from the application and general use of glyphosate are not relevant for this dispute. This is incorrect. As Mexico explained in its Initial Submission, the challenged measures are part of, and contribute to the objectives contained in the Decree 2023, which are related to the use of glyphosate. Mexico explained in its Initial Submission that there is a clear relationship between GM crops and the increase in the use of herbicides such as glyphosate and that, the main function of GM corn events imported into Mexico is to tolerate herbicides, specifically glyphosate.”

On risks to human health:

In the factual section of the United States’ Rebuttal Submission, the evidence presented by Mexico is described, in terms of health risks, as imprecise and ambiguous as if mere adjectives were sufficient to dismiss the scientific results presented by Mexico… Mexico presented more than a hundred scientific articles that provide evidence of the risks to health associated with the consumption of GM corn. The majority of these articles were superficially commented on by the United States in Annex I of its Rebuttal Submission, with a few exceptions. This can be considered a tacit acceptance of the conclusions stated in these articles or a lack of evidence to counter Mexico’s arguments.

In its closing statements, the Mexican government “argues persuasively… that it has the right to take such precautionary measures under the trade agreement, that the measures have had minimal impacts on U.S. corn exporters and that its restrictions are indeed based on peer-reviewed science documenting the risks of consuming GM corn with glyphosate residues,” argues Timothy A Wise, a senior adviser at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). “These risks are particularly elevated for Mexicans, who consume more than 10 times the corn consumed in the U.S. and do so in minimally processed preparations, such as tortillas.”

But Mexico is still not quite ready for life without glyphosate. In March, the AMLO government suspended its ban on the weedkiller just days before it was due to come into effect. From our article, A Battered Bayer Breathes Sigh of Relief As Mexico Suspends Its Long-Awaited Ban on Glyphosate Weedkiller:

On April 1, 2024, Mexico’s government was supposed to make history by banning the world’s most notorious weedkiller. On that day, a presidential decree prohibiting the production, importation, distribution and use of glyphosate, the active ingredient of Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller, on Mexican soil was to finally come into effect. But it was not to be. On Tuesday (March 26), just five days before the big day, Mexico’s government suspended the ban arguing that there is no immediate way to replace the herbicide and that safeguarding Mexico’s food security must override all other concerns…

Mexico’s AMLO government still considers glyphosate to be harmful to human health and the environment, but it fears that Mexican farmers aren’t ready to make the shift just yet. Many farmers and so-called “scientific experts” in Mexico have warned that there is no alternative (TINA) to glyphosate and that its ban could imperil the country’s grain production. Mexico’s imports of GMO corn from the US, rather than falling, reached record levels last year, in part due to a severe drought across many key growing regions.

Industry influence and lobbying almost certainly played a part in the government’s climb down. Days before the government announced its policy reversal, two senators of AMLO’s governing party, MORENA, proposed suspending implementation of the decree on glyphosate due to the lack of alternatives or sustainable practices that will allow the country to maintain the country’s agricultural production.” The proposal was rejected by the senate and lambasted by consumer groups, including the campaign group Sin Maiz No Hay País.

But the AMLO government is not willing to abandon its ban on the use and importation of GMO corn for human use. Nor, apparently, is the incoming Claudia Sheinbaum government, whose proposed agriculture minister, Julio Berdegue, has pledged to honour AMLO’s 2023 decree.

This may be an important battle for Big Ag lobbies and biotech companies but it is an existential one for Mexico, for whom corn is the cornerstone not only of its cuisine and diet but also its culture. The multi-decades struggle to keep Mexico (largely) GMO-free is a grassroots one. The bans on field trials of GMO corn instituted by a few brave judges just over a decade ago would never have happened if it weren’t for the campaigning efforts and legal actions brought by scientists and NGOs like the “Sin Maíz No Hay País” (Without Maize There is No Country) campaign, the Alliance for Food Health and the Maiz Class Lawsuit.

These same organisations recently gathered over 110,000 signatures in less than two weeks for a letter urging the three trade dispute panellists to listen to the opinions of Mexican society, as well as sectors of American and Canadian society that support bio-cultural diversity and healthy eating.”

A Global Issue

The letter, which was also sent to representatives of the governments of Mexico and the United States, argues that no risk analyses or scientific studies have as yet been performed to evaluate the potential health impact of consuming genetically modified corn in volumes typical of a country like Mexico. Mexican citizens consume, on average, 11 times more corn than their US counterparts. In the absence of scientific certainty, the letter says, the precautionary principle should be applied and protective measures adopted for consumers and ecosystems.

The letter also makes the case that the decision taken by the three trade dispute panellists in the Fall could end up affecting not just Mexico or North America but the entire world:

Scientific research… has already detected genetic contamination of native Mexican varieties with genes from modified varieties imported from the United States. This contamination puts Mexico’s biocultural diversity at risk. To the extent that our country serves as an immense living and [regularly] updated seed bank for the rest of humanity, genetic contamination also puts at risk the planting of maize in many different latitudes around the world.

As the center of origin, domestication and constant diversification of maize, Mexico is in a position to offer the rest of the world maize that is adapted to extreme environmental conditions, such as those accentuated by climate change. In this context, the contamination of native varieties may affect not only consumers in Mexico, but worldwide.

The outcome of this trade dispute could have global ramifications in another way: if the panellists end up ruling in Mexico’s favour (admittedly a big “IF” given all the corporate dollars at stake), it could set a legal precedent. That, in turn, could encourage other countries to impose similar bans on the cultivation or importation of GMO crops. And that is the last thing the world’s agrochemical giants want.

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36 comments

  1. KLG

    Thank you, Nick!

    Go, Mexico! Roundup Ready Corn is a technical solution to a problem that does not exist. Prior to NAFTA Mexican farmers could feed their country with their incredibly diverse varieties of maize. As for the other Roundup Ready commodity (keyword) crops, increased yields do not justify them, and a major negative externality is the evolution of Roundup resistant weeds, not to mention the industrial scale of glyphosate use. Industrial agriculture, especially in the United States, is a category mistake that damages the land and the people. It will either be phased our or collapse in on itself. The former is preferable.

    Reply
    1. mrsyk

      Go Mexico! This quote from Mexico’s closing argument in the latest court action, The United States superficially analyzes and criticizes the evidence and risk assessment prepared by Mexico, but in its criticisms, it does not present arguments backed by science to support its position, but simply disqualifies with adjectives.” That sounds like us.

      Reply
    2. Susan the other

      Yes, thanks Nick. Good info. The trend is now turning toward a slower, more patient production. We humans merely cultivate, but the plants are the geniuses that perform the organic alchemy. Let them do their work. Chances are they will not invent too many deadly poisons, and good for Mexico for standing its ground. I hope AMLO stays around for a long time.

      Reply
      1. joey_n

        I hope the same with AMLO. With him stepping down later this year, I hear Sheinbaum has promised to continue where he left off – let’s hope she honors that.

        Reply
  2. Mikel

    Good for Mexico!
    (Always rooting for the closest foreign country to me have good things going on…never know…)

    Reply
    1. Carla

      One among many things the US should consider adopting from Mexico is their single 6-year term for the presidency. AMLO has been able accomplish a tremendous amount partly because he had a full 6 years free from campaigning.

      Reply
      1. joey_n

        4+8=12
        12÷2=6
        Seems like a compromise between a one-term presidency (4 yrs) and a two-term one (8 yrs).

        Reply
  3. Victor Sciamarelli

    As an aside, the “Irish Central” reported in August 2018, “Environmental lawyer, Robert F. Kennedy Jr…and his team, have won an historic $290 million landmark case against agricultural giant Monsanto and its glyphosate-based product “Round-up”  claiming the product likely caused the cancer of their client, plaintiff Dewayne Johnson a former school groundskeeper.”
    https://www.irishcentral.com/news/robert-f-kennedy-case-monsanto-roundup-weed-killer.amp
    And in an interview 4 months ago he explained how he caused Monsanto to pay $2 billion.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VzELHzAYsq4

    Reply
    1. t

      Video doesn’t have a transcript. Does RFK mention the lawyers who brought and built and argued the case?

      Reply
  4. The Rev Kev

    Now this is good news. I guess that at the end of the day, Bayer may have been wary about going to court and trying to prove that their products are actually harmless. All that unwelcome publicity would not have been good for them considering the fact that they have their own problems. Better that they just withdrew and let it all drop out of public sight.

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  5. divadab

    Hooray for Mexico! IMHO the greatest danger to health, both human and planetary, is chemical-based farming. It’s rooted in ignorance and fundamental misunderstanding of the living processes which sustain our living planet. Combined with infecting the entire planet with plastics, this chemical soup dwarfs the negative effects of CO2. WHy are the corporatists promoting CO2 hysteria yet ignoring chemical agriculture, with its teratogenic effects, and plastics? Is the corporatist regime ever honest? Is it ever devoted to anything but unrestrained profits?

    CO2 is plant food. Chemical agriculture is a planet killer. Whatever the corporatist governments are promoting is a lie. And who is the father of all lies? This is an ongoing struggle against the adversary in which we all should be active, doing whatever we can.

    Reply
  6. liz

    Shameful that Canada is throwing its weight behind the US against Mexico ( but what do you expect?) The US needs to look at what it is doing to Mexico, other south and central American countires re trade wars and sanctions as these are responsible for a lot of the “immigrant problems” at their southern border. If you deprive people of their livelihoods they will have to move and many end up at the border of the very country that caused the problem in the first place. As always corporate interests outweigh human rights.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      Canada is controlled by the same corporatist forces that control the US of A. They are all in, even to a greater extent than the US, with massive immigration combined with authoritarianism and imposed policies which do not benefit the citizenry but rather narrow interests which have no loyalty or fellow feeling with their countrymen. Traitors, in other words, play-acting at being all woke and pandering to people duped by shiny ideological objects which are in fact detrimental to long term thriving.

      It’s very bad, worse than I’ve ever seen it. The government is actually conspiring against its own citizens for who it has nothing but contempt. .

      Reply
      1. Don

        In an Ipsos national poll conducted last week for Global News (in the run-up to July 1 Canada Day), 70% of Canadians agreed with the statement “Canada is broken”.

        Reply
        1. DFWCom

          The question is whether it has been broken by the current federal government or by rapacious corporate interests that are salivating over a new corporate-controlled neoliberal government that will roll out the usual austerity program that will be ruinous to the many and consolidate power for the few.

          As for glyphosate, while GMO (for glyphosate resistance) crops are, imho, an abomination, glyphosate has other uses, including weed suppression for no-till (possibly okay) and desiccation (for GMO and non-GMO crops) prior to harvest (awful). Interestingly, glyphosate is the only pesticide I know of that does not have a stated pre-harvest interval, sufficient reason, I think, to ban its use as a desiccant. And, of course, it’s great for driveways, pathways and electric fences.

          Reply
          1. thousand points of green

            There are two approaches to weed suppression for no-till. They are either chemical, with all its problems; or mechanical-physical, with its demands for higher intelligence, more information and better management.

            There are specialized tools available for those no-till farmers who wish to practice the mechanical-physical approach to no-till. Somebody invented a “roller-crimper” and Jeff Moyer at Rodale Research Institute has overseen the heavy study of roller-crimpy cover-crop smashdown-flatten management for no-till. Here are some images of the roller-crimper machine . . .
            https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrEryKrm4lmC2ISrOJXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=roller+crimper+image&fr=sfp

            Jeff Moyer has written two books about no-till farming and using the roller-crimper in no-chem no-till farming.
            https://bookstore.acresusa.com/collections/eco-farming/products/organic-no-till-farming
            and . . .
            https://bookstore.acresusa.com/collections/eco-farming/products/roller-crimper-no-till

            Some working-commercial farmers are claiming success with the chem-free roller-crimper approach . . . enough that the roller-crimper companies are still in business selling roller-crimpers. One such farmer is Gabe Brown, successful North Dakota farmer, author of a book ( From Dirt To Soil), and speaker at conferences.
            Here is a link to a website called ” The Conscious Farmer” running an article about Gabe Brown and mentioning his use of the roller-crimper.
            http://www.theconsciousfarmer.com/cover-cropping/

            ( I tried also linking to a video called . . . ” (Podcast) Using Regenerative Agriculture to Revive Your No . . . “) I imagine “No. . . ” is ” No-Till, but I can’t be sure. When I tried linking to it the machine wouldn’t allow it to load, claiming “privacy error”. I have a feeling the machines at my place of work would not have done that. If anyone wants to see if they can link to it or similar, and make the link work, they can try the search phrase . . . ” Gabe Brown roller-crimper”. )

            Reply
      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        As America gets weaker, Canada may wish to consider toadying to China instead. China may well offer Canada a better deal. Or it may not. But one never knows unless one tries.

        Reply
  7. Fritz

    The three trade dispute panelists are owned and operated by the world’s agrochemical giants who also own Canada and the USA’s politicians.

    Reply
  8. Ignacio

    The reasons argued: “The reasons cited for doing so include protecting the health of the population, the environment and Mexico’s genetic diversity of maize”.

    The three have merit, more the second than the first and even more the third reason. That one by itself goes, not only about glyphosate-resistant maize, but also against the much better thought borer resistant maize.

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    1. thousand points of green

      I assume ( without knowing for a fact) that the borer resistant maize is corn-borer resistant maize. If so, the resistance is incorporated by taking the genes for making a particular toxin out of the bacteria who made it, and injecting those genes into the genome of the targeted corn plant, so that every cell in the corn plant would produce its own supply of that toxin. The bacterial source of the genes for that toxin is Bacillus thuringiensis, so the corn bearing the genes for that toxin is called Bt corn. Here is an article called ” Bt-corn: What it is and How it Works.”
      https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef130

      Before the introduction of Bt corn, the Bt toxin came from the bacteria itself. It was used in Certified Organic agriculture as a no-cancer-juice way to kill moth-family caterpillars if they reached threatening levels in corn crops. It is not the Bt-toxin which is applied. It is dormant spores of the Bt bacteria itself. The theory is that if the caterpillar eats corn-parts with Bt spores on them, it ingests the Bt spores as well as the corn-parts. The dormant spores come back to active life inside the caterpillar’s gut. They produce their toxin which disables the caterpillar’s gut from working and starves the caterpillar to death in due course. The bacteria spores don’t come to life inside the guts of any bystander organisms which don’t eat the spores. Here is a website entry about the good old Bt bacteria itself and its uses AS a bacteria.
      http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/btgen.html

      What the GMO engineers did was to take the relevant genes out of the Bt bacteria and inject them into the corn genome itself. So the GMOed cornplants themselves are constantly making Bt toxin in every cell every day. Whereas spot application of Bt spore powder only where and when moth-family caterpillars have become a problem would delay and slow down the day of these caterpillars and moths evolving immunity to the toxin, the adding of the toxin itself to every cell of every corn plant would expose so many millions of caterpillars to the toxin that if/when any caterpillars emerged with accidental mutant immunity to the toxin, they would be selected for and selectively reproduce, thereby destroying the effectiveness of the engineered presence of Bt toxin in the corn plant cells. And by the way, destroying the effectiveness of Bt-bacteria spores as well, thereby depriving the organic grower of an anti-caterpillar tool which was developed for the organic community to begin with.

      Now . . . is GMO Bt corn ” well thought out”? It depends on what the real agenda is. And as Lily Tomlin said . . . ” No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up.”
      https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/lily_tomlin_383212
      So at the shallow level, of course the GMO engineers would like to charge farmers more for patented engineered Bt corn then to have them managing their own pests themselves without paying the GMO engineers that patent premium price.

      But what about the deep level? Ah yes . . . the deep level. Millions of acres of Bt corn with Bt toxin in every cell of every plant has a better chance of finding and selecting for the one-in-a-million or one-in-a-billion moth with accidental mutation based immunity to the Bt toxin. Such a moth would be selected for in survival terms and would eventually multiply enough to became a pest-grade pest on the Bt-corn. Meaning the GMO companies would then get to sell a whole new round of whole new patented GMO corns at whole new prices. And better than that, it would also mean the destruction of the effectiveness of the good old Bt bacteria-spore product, thereby destroying a very useful tool for organic agriculture and makeing organic agriculture that much less able to survive in a GMO dominant world.

      Reply
  9. thousand points of green

    It is an easy shorthand to say this is Mexico versus America. Actually it is non-GMO versus Big GMO and Big Glyphosate. Big GMO and Big Glyphosate are aggressionizing against non-GMO and non-Glyphosate right here in America just as hard as they are in Mexico.

    So that means that Mexico would have allies and supporters in the no-GMO and no-Glyphosate communities here in the US if Mexico cares to find them. And the no-GMO and no-Glyphosate communities right here in America might want to support Mexico’s war against Big-GMO and Big-Glyphosate
    because a defeat for Big-GMO and Big-Glyphosate in Mexico also weakens Big-GMO and Big-Glyphosate right here in America and makes it possible to imagine exterminating Big-GMO and Big-Glyphosate and wiping them off the face of the earth.

    How can Americans help the anti-GMO/Glypho forces which are in Mexico? Through buying Mexican heirloom corn and corn products to the limited extent they are available in the US. Here is one outlet for a few Mexican heirloom corns available by mail to American personal retail buyers ( and perhaps in bigger amounts to artisanal craft No-GMO restaurants as well).
    https://masienda.com/collections/all
    Here is an example of one of the corns which they sell.
    https://masienda.com/collections/all/products/pink-xocoyul-corn?variant=42061357514901

    How can Americans support the No-GMO forces right here in America? Boycott grainfed beef and buy-support grassfed beef right here in America. The more GMO grain-fed feedlot CAFO beef goes unsold, the more GMO corn goes unsold further upstream. Also, try boycotting every product involving GMO corn derivatives or ingredients in itself or its manufacture. Hard to do? Well, a partial boycott is better than no boycott at all. And buy No-GMO heirloom corn for all your culinary corn needs right here in America. There are a few outlets, like this one.
    https://ansonmills.com/products The first several products listed are corn or corn products.

    What can Mexican feed-corn buyers do in the immediate now? Find the few, small and lonely No-GMO No-Glypho corn growers in the US who grow genetically and chemically clean non-polluted corn in feedlot-relevant amounts. I can’t remember any names off the top of my head here at work, but they advertise their existence in Acres USA as well as elsewhere.

    ( Well, one name comes to mind. Anderson’s Grain..
    https://www.andersonsgrain.com/products-and-services/products/food-grade-corn/
    I am not sure, but I believe Anderson’s does at the very least carry Roundup-Free Clean-Genes feed corn separately handled to make sure of non-contamination).

    Reply
    1. iread

      You just aced it for me. I’ve been not buying any corn products period for years now because they’re all contaminated with GMO. I’ve waited to see a groundswell of support for Mexico from US consumers
      who are starved for non GMO supply. Russia can do it, why not Mexico, why not US. It’s one of the greatest major contributions to health and nutrition we could make for ourselves and the world. Start healing the soil.
      Stop contaminating the water. The absurdity of what has become of so called science was typified by some recent bioengineering breakthrough; the grand accomplishment; to take the bitterness out of mustard greens. Words fail.

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      1. sarmaT

        Russia can do it, why not Mexico, why not US.

        Because Russian are willing to fight an actual war for it. In pretty much literal sense, they are soaking chernozem with their own blood in order to push GMO/Monsanto (and many other things) away.

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      2. thousand points of green

        Contamination and deliberate use are two different things. In deliberate-use GMO corn, every kernel in the batch is a GMO kernel. In nonGMO corn which has been maliciously contaminated by hostile planting of GMO corn next door to it, or even miles upwind from it, as low as one kernel in a million may actually be GMO-polluted. But if measurement-methods are sensitive enough to pick up and measure that one-in-a-million GMO-polluted corn kernel, the whole batch will be branded as “contaminated”.

        And if big GMO is able to pollute every sample of corn on earth, so that all the corn on earth is “contaminated”, this could be spun to encourage people to give up on trying to find nonGMO corn because it is all “contaminated”. This is part of the reason big GMO tries planting GMO corn everywhere, so as to pollute every source of corn everywhere on earth.

        If corn-buyers confuse “contamination” with deliberate use, and boycott the “contaminated” normal corn along with the “deliberately pure GMO corn”, they will help the GMO industrial complex achieve its goal of exterminating every single non-GMO corn grower from the face of agriculture. Then GMO corn will be the only corn existing at all.

        So if there is a way to distinguish between “hostile contamination” and deliberate use, people against GMO can boycott the deliberate use GMO corn and still buy and eat the nearly-pure nonGMO corn, thereby keeping the nonGMO growers in business as possible beachheads today and tomorrow, against the day that the nonGMO movement can break out of these beachheads and conquer and exterminate the GMO industrial complex totally and completely from the face of the earth.

        Boycotting the one-polluted-kernel-in-a-million nearly pure corn grown by nonGMO growers is doing the GMO Conspiracy’s work for it.

        A way should be found to buy and use nearly-pure corn grown by purity-seeking growers doing their best in a deliberately GMO contaminated world.

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      3. DFWCom

        Of course, GMO (for glyphosate resistance) and glyphosate are handmaidens – you can’t have one without the other.

        But be careful what it is you don’t want in your food. Is it GMO or glyphosate?

        The point is that glyphosate (not Bayer’s Roundup formulation – glyphosate is not patent protected and is, today, mostly made in China) is used on most non-GMO crops as a desiccant, ie, to dry the crop ‘on the stalk’ and save on energy that would be used for drying, without which crops quickly spoil.

        All pesticides with the exception of glyphosate have a pre-harvest interval, ie, they cannot be applied within a certain number of days/weeks prior to harvest. And whether or not anyone thinks the system is sufficient, it is pretty well respected by farmers.

        The intent, of course, is to keep pesticides out of the food chain. No one has proven that spraying non-GMO crops prior to harvest is the way glyphosate is getting into our food but getting into our food it is.

        So back to the question of glyphosate or GMO. If it is the former you don’t like it would be best to apply pressure for action against desiccant spraying rather than GMO. At the cost of considerable energy for drying – mostly natural gas.

        Reply
        1. thousand points of green

          If the GMO in question is “Glyphosate tolerance”, then that particular form of GMO was designed as a permission-structure to use more glyphosate on the “Roundup Ready” crops. So when it comes to glyphosate as against GMO, well . . . . in the case of “Roundup Ready” GMO, one opposes both at once.

          When it comes to GMO as desiccant on all sorts of nonGMO annual grain crops, the only way to avoid it is to eat certified organic grain crops ( because glyphosate is forbidden from use in certified organic growing). The other only way to avoid dessicant GMO on mainstream grain crops is to eat other things than grain crops. They can’t spray perennial tree/shrub/bush crops because the glyphosate would kill the trees/shrubs/bushes. So one could get one’s calories / carbs/ some lipids from nuts and various other things from fruits.

          So there are still ways to escape and evade the users of glypho, including glypho for desiccant.

          Reply
  10. Jg

    Thank the muses, and, especially Nick for this information. Permanent Resident in Mexico; current residing in a non GMO county stateside. Viva La Mexico❤️🇲🇽💚

    Reply
  11. Expat2uruguay

    @Nick Corbishley: I’m not clear if there is a 2020 decree AND a 2023 decree, because there are references to a 2023 degree and a decree 2023 but I’m not sure if those are supposed to be 2020. Although I realize there’s a 2023 trade dispute

    Reply
    1. Nick Corbishley Post author

      Both. The second decree, signed in 2023, amended certain aspects of the original 2020 decree, most notably by limiting the GMO ban to corn intended for direct human consumption. But even that wasn’t enough to satisfy US trade representatives.

      Reply
  12. thousand points of green

    3 fascinating Mexican corn videos . . .

    For people interested in corn itself, as a plant and as a presence, here are three videos about Mexican corn itself, in Spanish. ( I can’t understand Spanish so I find them fascinating to watch just for the visual side. How much more fascinating would they be to the corn-appreciator who knows Spanish . . . )
    Here they are:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZcqJU0XUnI
    and
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34lXQQKJn5o
    and
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-xkrTq4tQU

    ( If Nick Corbishley’s interest in Corn/GMO/Mexico goes beyond policy into the realm of corn itself, as it lives and grows; then Nick Corbishley might find these videos to be interesting in their own right).

    Reply

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