Mexico's Decree on Glyphosate and GMO Corn

Monday, May 13, 2024 - 1:00pm
Malin Jönsson

Glyphosate and GMO corn go hand in hand in a dominant food system that threatens our food culture, health, biodiversity and nature. Global food production has become dependent on chemicals and hybrid or GMO seeds as a result of the so called “green revolution” that was initiated in the 1940s and expanded with the neoliberal reforms of the mid-1980s.

In December 2020, as a part of an attempt to change this production model, a presidential decree was issued in Mexico stating that use of the glyphosate pesticide and GMO corn must be gradually phased out by 2024. According to Viridiana Lázaro, food and agriculture campaigner at Greenpeace México, the ban "is the first step to transform Mexico's agriculture system from one industrialized, based on pesticides and dependent on transnational corporations, to an agro-ecological system that offers solutions to soil fertility, local pest problems, allows crop diversification, protects biodiversity and health of farmers and consumers.”

Now 2024 has arrived and we are seeing strong political actions resisting this change. The US, a major exporter of GMO corn to Mexico, has challenged the decree claiming that it violates the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (the new NAFTA). There are also pressures claiming that Mexican food security would be threatened if glyphosate is banned.

Malin Jönsson is a researcher with CONAHCYT and coordinator of Semillas de Vida Foundation, a civil association that works with the conservation, protection and development of native maize seeds in peasant hands and for a healthy diet – from seed to table. Until 2023, she was a teacher of Rural Problems and Human Rights at the National School of Social Work of UNAM.

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