(NewsNation) — U.S. corn growers are concerned that Mexico’s plan to ban GMO corn imports could have devastating effects on the economy.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the plan in 2020, though it is not set to go into effect until 2024. The ban would prohibit the import of GMO corn for human consumption. GMO corn intended for livestock would still be allowed.
López Obrador cited a lack of scientific research into GMOs as well as Mexico’s cultural heritage of domesticating corn.
Farmer Marvin Reichert told NewsNation that he’s already ordered and paid for corn in advance, and that if the ban goes into effect he and other farmers will have to scramble to find new supplies.
“Over 90% of the corn is already biotech engineered. So that means there might be a shortage of non-GMO corn,” he said.
Reichert said GMO corn has a history of safety and has increased profits for farmers.
“It’s made us more profitable because we use less fertilizer, less water, we can use better chemicals,” he explained.
Reichert said the ban could cost him a couple of million dollars in lost profits. But he said the ban isn’t a sure thing.
“It violates U.S.-Canada, U.S.-Mexico, U.S.-Canada trade agreement, so it’s probably going to end up in the courts,” Reichert said.
Lawmakers have spoken out against the ban and have said they hope to negotiate with Mexico to find an option that is less disruptive for trade.