FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 25, 2023
Media Contacts: Hans Eisenbeis | firstname.lastname@example.org | 360-255-7704 x4
Alexandra Tursi | email@example.com | 802-777-6737
U.S. and International Companies Support Mexico’s Efforts to Restrict GMO Corn
The Non-GMO Project expands its Verification program beyond the U.S. and Canada into Mexico
Bellingham, WA - The Non-GMO Project announced that it now verifies non-GMO products for sale in Mexico. This comes on the heels of Mexico’s efforts to ban imports of genetically modified corn for human consumption in products such as masa and tortillas, as well as the controversial herbicide glyphosate. This undertaking is the focus of intense pressure from U.S. federal authorities in agriculture and trade.
“As the Mexican government's new decree does not ban imports of GMO industrial maize, it’s strange that the U.S. government continues to threaten Mexico with a full-fledged legal dispute under the USMCA,” said Ramón Vera Herrera of GRAIN, an international organization working to support peasant farmers and social movements in achieving community-controlled and biodiversity-based food systems. “The only explanation we see is that the U.S. is bullying Mexico to get more than what was agreed to under the trade deal.”
The commercial cultivation of GMO corn is already prohibited in Mexico. Mexican President Lopez Obrador has also set the goal of gradually substituting domestically grown non-GMO corn for GMO corn now imported for feed and industrial uses. He is also phasing out the use of glyphosate — the herbicide that commonly accompanies many GMO crops — by 2024. International agencies and researchers have determined glyphosate-based herbicides to be "probable human carcinogens."
There is significant support for Mexico's food sovereignty among U.S. and international companies, NGOs and individual citizens who recognize that the future of food is non-GMO. A public sign-on letter circulated by the Non-GMO Project already has more than 400 signatories, showing that the official position of the USDA faces resistance, even at home.
“As a leading company in the food ingredients industry, Milhão Ingredients recognizes the importance of offering healthy and sustainable food options to our consumers,” said Bárbara Castro Magalhães, representative of Milhão Ingredients. “We believe that non-GMO food production is an important way to promote the health and well-being of consumers, and we are excited to support this project in Mexico. We appreciate the opportunity to be together in this cause for a healthier and more sustainable future.”
“The Non-GMO Project applauds Mexico's efforts to restrict genetically modified corn in their attempt to safeguard native maize varieties and preserve Mexico's cultural heritage,” said Megan Westgate, executive director at the Non-GMO Project. “We are proud that the expansion of our label coincides with this bold action to build the non-GMO food supply while protecting Mexico's sovereignty.”
Whether or not the trade dispute is resolved in a way that acknowledges Mexico’s sovereignty, the Non-GMO Project will now verify Mexican products that meet its rigorous standard for GMO avoidance, allowing Mexican shoppers to make the individual choice to say no to GMOs. To date, the Butterfly label is found on more than 100,000 products in the U.S. and Canada.
Read this press release in Spanish.
About the Non-GMO Project
The Non-GMO Project is a mission-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to building and protecting a non-GMO food supply. The Butterfly seal remains North America’s most trusted third-party verification for GMO avoidance. Backed by our rigorous Standard, our label is a meaningful way for brands and retailers to show their commitment to non-GMO choices and the food transparency shoppers seek. Learn more at www.nongmoproject.org.