We support the right of the people of Mexico to determine their own relationship with corn


The Government of Canada is supporting a trade challenge initiated by the United States, under the Canada-US-Mexico trade agreement (CUSMA), that aims to end Mexico’s restrictions on the use of genetically modified corn for certain foods. Canada does not export any corn to Mexico.

On February 13, 2023, a presidential decree disallowed the use of GM corn in Mexico for making traditional foods, such as tortilla, that rely on minimally processed white corn flour. The decree also states the intention to eventually replace GM corn ingredients in processed foods with non-GM corn. These measures are the result of decades of struggle by farmers and grassroots communities in Mexico who oppose the use of genetic modification and are asserting their right to seed and food sovereignty.

Corn, known in Mexico and most of the world as “maize”, is a staple of the Mexican diet and is central to Mexican culture and agriculture, history and national identity, and to Indigenous cultures and spiritual practices. Mexico is the global centre of origin of corn. Indigenous and peasant farmers in Mexico have been stewarding life-giving corn biodiversity for thousands of years, building agroecological practices like the milpa to safeguard locally adapted landraces and ensure a resilient food supply for families and communities.

The decree says that Mexico is restricting the use of GM corn in order to uphold food sovereignty, including the Indigenous milpa; to protect native corn from GM contamination; to preserve Mexico’s biocultural heritage; and to take precautionary measures to protect human health.

For more information see the report on this trade dispute by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network www.cban.ca/tradedispute

Statement of Solidarity

We support the seed sovereignty of Indigenous and peasant farmers in Mexico and their pursuit of food sovereignty;

We support the right of people in Mexico to reject genetically modified corn and the right of the Government of Mexico to restrict the use of GM corn in traditional foods;

We stand in solidarity with Mexican farmers and food workers who continue to preserve and maintain corn diversity and their biocultural heritage, and who stand up to resist corporate control of food;

We oppose Canada’s role in the trade dispute that challenges Mexico’s restrictions on the use of GM corn. We oppose the use of trade agreements to undermine democratic rights and prioritize corporate profit-making ahead of the needs of our communities;

We pledge to continue our work together to build a food system where family and co-operative farmers, and food workers, live in dignity, feeding everyone high quality, healthy, safe food using practices that protect our soil, water, biodiversity and other natural resources;

We promote social and economic justice for food producers, and all people living in Canada and around the world.

Signed by the following organizations:

National Farmers Union

Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network
Canada Organic Trade Association
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Canadian Organic Growers
Centre international de solidarité ouvrière (CISO)
Comite pour les droits humains en Amerique Latine
Common Frontiers
Cooper Institute
Council of Canadians
De Regresos Consciente al campo
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada
Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
Friends of the Earth Canada
Idle No More
Inter Pares
Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN)
Northumberland Council of Canadians – Agroecology and Water Group
Organic Alberta
PEI Food Exchange Program Inc
Prairie Community Coalition
Public Service Alliance of Canada – Alliance de la Fonction publique du Canada
SaskOrganics Association Inc.
Seeds of Diversity Canada
Solidarité Laurentides Amérique centrale (SLAM)
The Organic Council of Ontario
Trade Justice Group of the Northumberland Chapter of the Council of Canadians
Trade Justice Network
United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada)
Vigilance OGM

Additional Signatures

York Region Environmental Alliance
GMO Free Canada
Safe Food Matters
Toronto Non-GMO Coalition
World Accord
Organic BC
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Suzanne Barr Food
Westmount 4-H Club Community Garden
Wild Bird Trust of BC
Creative Food Research Collaboratory
Green Thumbs Growing Kids
Toronto Urban Growers
Gaia Organics
Vestra Farm
Van Ravenswaay Farms
Prevent Cancer Now
Urban Harvest Garden Alternatives
Kitchen Table Seed House
KASSI: Kingston Area Seed System Initiative
Ritmos climáticos
Folx Farm
Watershed Sentinel Educational Society

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