(Natural News) Mexico, the birthplace of corn, plans to completely ban genetically modified (GM) corn and glyphosate by Jan. 31, 2024. In a decree published on Thursday, Dec. 31, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador noted that the decision aims to contribute to the country's food security and protect native corn varieties.
In accordance with the decree, authorities will "revoke and refrain from granting permits" for GM corn, which includes imports. The decree also seeks to phase out glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller. GM crops are typically made such that they can tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate.
The decree came after several months of unsuccessful pushback from groups representing Mexico's large food industry. Nonetheless, opponents of GM crops and growers of organic foods celebrated the ban.
Mexico is self-sufficient in white corn used to make the nation's staple tortillas but depends on imports of GM yellow corn from the U.S. for livestock feed. It is unclear whether the decree also covers imports of GM yellow corn meant for livestock. Mexican officials plan to meet with producers this week to decide the case for this.
Lopez Obrador said the bans will benefit the environment. However, proponents of GM corn said banning the domestic cultivation of GM corn would limit options for Mexican farmers. Moreover, banning the importation of GM corn from the U.S. could also threaten the nation's food chain.