Vilsack Says Mexico GMO Ban Plan Doesn’t Currently Cover Feed

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Mexico’s plan to phase out imports of genetically modified corn doesn’t currently apply to grain used as livestock feed.

Mexico’s agriculture and economy ministries said in January that they would phase in over three years a ban on genetically modified corn that includes animal feed.

”I think it is important to distinguish between what Mexico is currently thinking about doing and the fact that it’s not going to have as great an impact as it would if it was everything, all at once, all now,” Vilsack said in a speech delivered online to the National Press Club on Friday.

He said that he recently spoke with Mexican Agriculture Minister Victor Villalobos about the planned ban and that U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai also is addressing the issue. Vilsack said he is “confident these conversations will continue.”

He added that there are avenues under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to resolve such issues.

“There are processes that could potentially be used,” Vilsack said. “We’re not anywhere near there yet.”

Mexico has imported about 16 million tons of yellow GMO corn annually in recent years. Its agriculture ministry said in January that it would work with local farmers to increase domestic production of corn and other animal feed.

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