Mexican official standard to-be-published regarding the prohibition of the use of genetically modified corn

26 July 2023

The Federal Government is about to publish a Mexican Official Standard (“NOM”, for its acronym in Spanish) that seeks to prohibit the use of genetically modified corn in the production of dough, tortillas, tostadas, and other corn products, after the president of Mexico has stated that genetically modified corn could have a negative impact on the health of Mexican citizens.

The draft NOM defines transgenic corn or genetically mutated corn as corn that has acquired a novel genetic combination through specific biotechnology techniques. The Ministry of Health sent a preliminary draft to the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement, seeking to establish the following:

• The classification, ingredients, and specifications that corn-derived products must comply with; • The sanitary provisions to be fulfilled by the establishments that produce these products; • Testing methods and names of the products; • The commercial and sanitary information that products manufactured domestically or abroad and marketed in the national territory must include on their labels.

The Mexican president is about to sign a new agreement to use only white corn in tortillerías throughout the country. This goes hand in hand with the determination of tariffs to stop the import of white corn and promote the purchase of white corn from domestic producers in Mexico. However, since this past March, the United States Government has requested formal trade consultations, derived from their disagreement with Mexico’s plans to limit imports of transgenic corn and other agricultural biotechnology products.

The Mexican Government acknowledged that the discrepancy with the USA on the use of transgenic corn could reach a resolution panel under the Commercial Treaty between the United States, Mexico, and Canada (USMCA).

In light of the above, in Bravo Abogados we would be happy to answer any question you may have regarding this legal alert.

Blvd. Antonio L. Rodríguez 3000, Colonia Santa María, 5to piso, Interior 501 Torre Albia, C.P. 64650 Mty, N.L., México T.

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