Ottawa/Cobourg – The Council of Canadians, along with 24 organizations representing Canadian sustainable agricultural constituencies, environmentalists, workers, and consumers have called on Ottawa to cease its efforts to force Mexico to drop a Decree that aims to phase out imports of GMO corn as well as enforcing a ban on the use of glyphosate.
On March 7, 2023, Canada requested a formal consultation with Mexico over the country’s restrictions on genetically modified agricultural imports following a similar but separate demand by the U.S. the day before that focused on corn. These measures taken by Mexico are to protect small farmers’ livelihoods and provide consumers access to safe and healthy foods. Mexico is a ‘centre of origin’ for numerous corn varieties engineered by indigenous peoples over some 9,000 years – central to historical cultural values built into Mexico’s current domestic production and distribution systems.
Canada International Trade Ministry let it be known earlier this year that it doesn’t believe that Mexico’s policies related to GMOs and glyphosate are ‘science-based’. On March 29, the Mexican government responded to Canada’s flawed ‘science-based’ charge with an impressive virtual conference organized by CONACYT, the Mexican government’s highest science body. CONACYT plans to follow this up with a series of virtual conferences in May to present the full range of scientific evidence on GMO corn and glyphosate derived from a broad range of independent studies, all available to the public.
Mexico’s attention to the results of scientific studies are in effect showing Canada as a country that is not implementing ‘science-based’ decision-making domestically concerning the safety of GMOs and herbicides. Instead, Ottawa is moving towards a complete reliance on unseen corporate safety assessments and confidential corporate science, without independent government oversight. This approach jeopardizes food safety, our environment, and the livelihood of many Canadian farmers.
We renew our earlier call for Canada to support Mexico in its scientifically based ban of glyphosate and phase out of GMO corn used for human consumption, while considering similar action in Canada.
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Trade and Privatization Campaigner
The Council of Canadians