Katherine Tai, head of the USTR, emphasized the importance of Mexico immediately resuming the authorization of biotech products.
Still, Mexico’s Cofepris has not made any decision on applications for authorization of agricultural biotechnology products intended for use in food and feed since May 2018.
First of all, Mexico’s Biosafety Law requires Cofepris to make a decision on a complete application within six months of receipt.
On December 31, 2020, Mexico published a final decree under which existing authorizations “for the use of genetically modified corn grain in the diet of Mexican women and men” will be revoked and new authorizations will be prohibited until the corn grain genetically modified to be completely replaced by January 31, 2024.
Tai met this Wednesday with the Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development of Mexico, Víctor Villalobos, and the Secretary of Economy, Tatiana Clouthier, in Mexico City.
“Ambassador Tai emphasized the importance of Mexico immediately resuming the authorization of biotech products,” the USTR said in a statement.
The United States is pressuring Mexico to revoke the decree and ensure that Cofepris undertakes and completes its approval procedure for agricultural biotechnology products without undue delay and maintaining a transparent process.
Mexico rejected applications for biotech cotton cultivation in 2019 and 2020.
Biotech cotton has been grown in Mexico for 25 years with no evidence of adverse impact on the environment, biodiversity, or animal or plant health. Till the date, the United States continues to pressure Mexico to reconsider these applications and use a scientific and risk-based approach.
The meeting between Tai, Villalobos and Clouthier was held on the occasion of the first anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA).