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Canada backs US in GMO corn trade row with Mexico

Canada will back the United States in a trade row with Mexico over genetically modified corn, its trade minister announced Friday.

The United States last week announced the establishment of a dispute settlement panel under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) over Mexico’s plans to ban biotech corn in tortillas or dough.

In a statement, Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng said Ottawa would participate “as a third party in the dispute settlement proceedings initiated by the United States.”

She said Canada shares US concerns that Mexico is breaching the terms of the North American trade pact.

“Canada believes that the measures taken by Mexico are not scientifically supported and have the potential to unnecessarily disrupt trade in the North American market,” she said.

Mexico is a major buyer of yellow corn and imports a significant amount from the United States, where most corn is genetically modified.

In February Mexico issued a decree on the use of biotech corn, and said it would also gradually substitute the use of genetically engineered corn in products for human consumption and animal feed.

Talks failed to resolve the issue.