By David Alire Garcia and Adriana Barrera Reuters
MEXICO CITY – Mexican food safety regulators have rejected a new variety of GMO corn for the first time, according to German conglomerate Bayer, which makes the grain and has lambasted the decision, saying it was exploring its legal options.
Mexico, the birthplace of modern corn, never allowed commercial cultivation of GMO corn, but for decades it allowed such varieties to be imported, mostly from American farmers and widely used for fattening livestock.
Mexican regulators did not respond to requests for comment. Regulators must approve each new variety developed by seed companies before the resulting crops can be imported later.
At the end of August, health regulator Cofepris rejected a permit for a new variety of GMO corn sought by pharmaceutical and phytosanitary giant Bayer, according to data from Mexico’s National Council of Agriculture.
The regulator determined that the new seed variety was designed to tolerate the weedkiller glyphosate, adding that it considered the widely used herbicide dangerous and said its rejection was based on a “precautionary principle”, according to the regulators. data.
Cofepris’ decision was never made public and its press service did not respond to requests for comment.
CNA President Juan Cortina said in an interview that Mexican corn importers would start to feel the impact of the rejection as early as next year.