GM Corn Ban Updates

Feb 09, 2024  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Biotechnology |  Exports |  Legislation & Regulation

A timeline has formulated as efforts continue to resolve Mexico’s proposed ban on genetically modified (GM) corn for human consumption. 


In December 2020, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued a decree promising to ban all imports of GM corn beginning in January 2024. In February 2023, a new decree was issued, focusing the proposed ban on corn for human consumption. The decree is a direct violation of the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, because it is not scientifically supported.  


In August 2023, the United States Trade Representative opened a dispute settlement panel working to resolve the issue. The timeline for the dispute was made public and the final report is expected in November 2024.  


“Exports are critical to the economic wellbeing of Illinois corn farmers, so we’ve been engaged on this issue for years,” IL Corn Director of Exports and Logistics Collin Waters said. “Mexico is a top export destination for Illinois corn, so any disruption to that supply chain can have dramatic impacts on Illinois farmers. Although the final report is not yet available, we remain confident that the panel will agree with the US position and support the requirement that all trade barriers be science-based.” 


The United States Department of Agriculture’s Federal Grain Inspection Service, the U.S. exported 620 million bushels of corn to Mexico in 2023. Illinois corn represented nearly 40% of all direct corn shipments from US origins. 


In the months ahead here are key dates in the dispute process.  

  • Mexico’s response was submitted on January 15. The translation of their comments are  expected March 5. 

  • Non-government entities submissions are due on March 15. Translations will be completed April 5. 

  • Canada’s submission is due March 26 and will be translated on April 15.  

  • The United States will have a chance to rebut arguments on March 26 and will be translated on April 23. 

  • Mexico’s rebuttal is set for May 14 and translations will be released June 11.  

  • The hearing will take place the week of June 25 and is estimated to take three days.  

  • The final public report will be released November 2024.