On August 22, 2023 the National Farmers Union sent the following letter (click here for the Spanish version/versión en español) to Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development.
Dear Minister Ng,
We understand that as Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, you will shortly decide whether Canada will join with the United States as a Third Party on the dispute settlement panel the USA has requested under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) regarding Mexico’s measures concerning imports of genetically engineered (GM) corn for human consumption.
As we indicated in our June 8 letter to you, the National Farmers Union (NFU) urges you to respect Mexico’s decision to prohibit imports of GM corn for human consumption, as it has put these measures in place in order to uphold its food sovereignty, including the traditional Indigenous farming systems known as milpa.
We urge you to refrain from having Canada join the Panel as a Third Party in order to avoid escalating our role in this dispute out of respect for Indigenous rights, Canada being signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to support Canada’s biodiversity protection commitments as a signatory of the UN Convention on Biodiversity.
In light of these facts, we urge you to make the right decision, which is to refrain from joining the American dispute panel against Mexico as a Third Party.
Jenn Pfenning, President,
National Farmers Union
CC Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, Daniel Blaikie, NDP Trade Critic, Alistair MacGregor, NDP Ag Critic, Mike Morrice, Green Party