Biotech Updates

Mexican GM Maize Ban to Cause Massive Losses in the Americas -Report

October 12, 2022

The results of banning the import of genetically modified (GM) maize in Mexico will not only result in economic losses amounting to billion of U.S. dollars in the country and North America, but will also affect the livestock sector, human health, food security and the environment, a recent report prepared by World Perspectives Inc. states.

The report was released by a coalition of leading food and agriculture industry stakeholders in both Mexico and the United States and highlights the projected impact that the GM maize import ban would have over the next ten years. In Mexico alone, it is said that the ban will affect the following:

  1. The Mexican gross domestic product (GDP) would fall by $11.72 billion in over 10 years, the economic output would reduce by $19.39 billion, 56,958 jobs will be lost and labor income would be reduced by $2.99 billion.
  2. Non-GM maize prices will rise by 48% and the country will need to pay an additional $571 million for imported maize in the first year of the ban alone. Over a period of 10 years, impact on food prices will greatly affect most of the population.
  3. Maize prices will increase on the average of 19% in over 10 years causing inflation to rise by 66.7%. The additional costs to segregate and genetically test maize imports will cost $1.056 billion and will likely be passed on to consumers.
  4. The livestock sector will experience 13.7% increase in feed costs, poultry meat prices would rise by 66.7%, while eggs are forecasted to become luxury items.
  5. Since maize is used to manufacture pharmaceuticals, the ban could introduce uncertainties affecting their availability and cost and affect the healthcare industry.
  6. Considering that more 10% of the Mexican population already lacks access to adequate food, the GM maize import ban might double or triple that number in the nine poorest Mexican states.

The ban is also expected to affect the United States and Canada:

  1. The US economy could lose $73.89 billion in economic output, GDP would decline by $30.55 billion in 10 years, 32,217 jobs will be lost annually and labor income would fall by $18.38 billion.
  2. The US maize industry will experience a net economic loss of $3.56 billion in the first year, and $5.56 billion in the second year. In 10 years, a total of $13.61 billion would be economically lost.
  3. The Canadian maize sector would lose $33.94 million of farm revenue in over 10 years.
  4. The Canadian economy is expected to lose $92.85 million in economic output in over 10 years.

The ban will also cause setback to future innovation research including studies on the development of new genetic traits in order to increase food production and produce environmental stress-resilient crops. Likewise, non-GM crop production also waives the benefits of higher yields using reduced land use for agriculture, and the lower chemical applications along with the no-till practices that protect soils and lower carbon emissions.

For more information, read the full report released by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization which includes the executive summary and the press release.

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