As the United States media continues to focus on the coronavirus, vaccinations, and political theater, a battle is unfolding in Mexico over genetically engineered corn.
Mexico shocked the U.S. agribusiness world recenlty by announcing a ban on the cancer-linked glyphosate herbicide produced by Bayer/Monsanto as well as a ban on imports of genetically modified corn.
But pressure is still being applied by the powerful pro-GMO lobby in the U.S. to reverse the decision.
As agriculture and chemical giants make their case, non-GMO and organic corn farmers are focused on solving the problem in a different way.
Farmers Say They’re Ready to Help Supply Mexico with Non-GMO Corn
In 2018, a study examining one of Mexico’s staple foods, corn tortillas, found that over 90% of them contained genetically engineered corn.
Now, Mexico is planning to get back to basics by switching its supply chain back to native and organic, non-GMO varieties, after a decree was issued by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to phase out GMOs.
The ban sent shockwaves throughout U.S. producers of GMO corn.
Currently about 16.5 million metric tons of corn exports, virtually all of them GMO, are at stake, valued at about $3 billion.
Mexico is the second largest buyer of U.S. corn behind China according to ‘The Organic & Non-GMO Report’ founder Ken Roseboro — but now, the U.S. agriculture system is being forced to adjust, and proponents of GMOs are reeling.
“I almost refuse to even look at it because I think it’s an unbelievable proposal,” said Allendale, Inc. chief strategist Rich Nelson in an interview with Western Producer.
“I just don’t know what to say. I don’t.”
Recently Ken Roseboro, author of The Organic & Non-GMO Report, detailed the response from numerous organic and non-GMO farmers to the news.
Mexico has reportedly said that it will be willing to accept “imports of yellow maize for now, and the expectation is to induce imports of non-GMO yellow maize,” from countries including the United States.
U.S. organic and non-GMO farmers say they’re ready to step up to the plate.
“No question, the U.S. could meet Mexico’s demand should they seek only non-GMO corn,” said Greg Lickteig, a longtime grain industry insider.
The acreage is definitely there, others say.
While Bayer and Monsanto continue to put pressure on Mexico to reverse its ban, non-GMO corn farmers are looking at the news as an opportunity.
“Could we supply Mexico? Absolutely?” said Bill Niebur, president of High Fidelity Genetics, a non-GMO corn seed company based in Iowa.
“In terms of acres, it’s not a problem.
“Instead of criticizing Mexico, let’s provide to them.”
According to Ken Dallmier, the CEO of Clarkson Grain based in Illinois, providing organic and non-GMO food to fill in the gaps can be accomplished with the right vision.
He said that Mexico now produces about 27 million tons of corn each year, most of which is white corn, along with three million tons of yellow corn.
Mexico would need to increase production by about 30% to replace lost imports of GMO corn that typically come from the United States.
If so, organic and non-GMO farmers would take on a whole new level of responsibility to help jumpstart the U.S. agricultural economy, while also providing healthy corn to a country in need.
“Given time and focus, I think it’s completely feasible,” he said.
“Mexico is a key trading partner, and all the logistics of Mexican grain import come through the U.S.
It’s matter of planning and market.”
We Do Not Need GMOs and Synthetic Pesticides to Feed the World
Lost in the hype surrounding Mexico’s GMO ban is the elephant in the room: we do not need GMOs and synthetic pesticides to feed the world, according to a report from the United Nations titled ‘Wake Up Before It’s Too Late.’
The report concluded that biodynamic farming is the way to both feed the world, and to provide security for the integrity of the climate.
Biodynamic farming is an ages-old system that empowers small farmers to create “food forests” as part of a living, breathing holistic system that preserves and builds the integrity of the soil over time.
Read more about biodynamic farming’s potential for feeding the world in the full report here.
Thanks as always for reading!
You can also learn more about Amaranth, the “superweed” that is destroying GMO crops and is actually a bonafide anti-aging super food in its own right, by clicking on this link.