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Judi Lynn

(161,297 posts)
Tue Nov 1, 2022, 04:25 AM Nov 2022


Nov. 1, 2022

The Scoop reports:

Mexico has confirmed that the country does not plan to amend its ban on imports of GMO that is set to start in 2024. Mexico's Deputy Ag Minister says the country is on track to cut is imports of U.S. yellow corn by half through increased domestic production. Mexico is a top customer for U.S. corn, accounting for 20 to 25% of U.S. corn exports annually. So, this is a huge issue.

Mexico is back tracking on their reassurances made a year ago that they would not limit imports of GMO corn from the U.S. Instead, they say they'll make direct deals with farmers in the U.S, Argentina and Brazil who produce non-GMO corn to supply their need outside of domestic production. However, market experts say this is simply not doable.

Rich Nelson, with Allendale, "We've heard this story for the past two years. We all understand from the U.S. grain market perspective we simply don't think it's going to be realistic. Mexico gets about 90 to 92% of its corn from the U.S., 15 million ton annually and it our GMO corn that's about 92% of our product."

In fact, 92% of the world corn supply is GMO. So, Nelson says South America will have difficulty guaranteeing that volume of non-GMO product. He says, "Now you can certainly argue that Brazil is going to be much cheaper than us right now to cargo in but the question is do they have the supply of non-GMO corn that can be verified?"


~ ~ ~

Mexican farmer's daughter: NAFTA destroyed us
by Shasta Darlington and Patrick Gillespie @CNNMoney
February 9, 2017: 12:19 PM ET

If you ask President Donald Trump, Mexico won the lottery almost 25 years ago when it signed NAFTA, the free trade deal with the United States and Canada.
"It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost," Trump tweeted on Jan. 26.

But if you ask Griselda Mendoza, the deal nearly destroyed her family and her community of corn farmers in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. "Before NAFTA, everybody here grew corn. People didn't make much money, but nobody went hungry," says Mendoza, 23, sharing common lore from her region. She was born just after NAFTA was signed.

As cheap American corn came pouring in from the border, it had a devastating effect on her family. Her father, Benancio Mendoza, couldn't compete and make a living wage selling corn. He had to give up and move to the United States looking for a job. He took up a job as a cook in Tennessee, saving up money to send home so his kids could attend school.

"He went north looking for a job and I didn't see him again for 18 years," says Mendoza, who now works as a secretary for the local government.

While NAFTA did boost Mexico's manufacturing industry, it gutted many farming towns -- especially mom and pop corn farmers like Benancio's. Mexico lost over 900,000 farming jobs in the first decade of NAFTA, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture.


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Corn subsidies at root of U.S.-Mexico immigration problems

America’s immigration debate will never be adequately addressed until we think clearly about the economic incentives that encourage Mexican citizens to risk their lives to cross the border. In fact, if we care about human dignity, we must think comprehensively about the conditions for human flourishing so that the effective policies promote the common good. Sadly, U.S. government farm subsidies create the conditions for the oppression and poor health care of Mexican migrant workers in ways that make those subsidies nothing less than immoral.

Dr. Seth M. Holmes, a professor of Health and Social Behavior at the University of California-Berkeley, identified the source of the problem in his watershed 2006 paper, “An Ethnographic Study of the Social Context of Migrant Health in the United States.” In the study we learn that 95 percent of agricultural workers in the United States were born in Mexico and 52 percent are undocumented. Most researchers agree that inequalities in the global market make up the primary driving force of labor migration patterns. Mexico’s current minimum wage is $4.60 (U.S.) a day. In contrast, the U.S. federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, while it is $7.65 in Arizona, $8 in California, $7.50 in New Mexico, and $7.25 in Texas.

The 2003 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deregulated all agricultural trade, except for corn and dairy products. The Mexican government complains that since NAFTA’s initial implementation in 1994, the United States has raised farm subsidies by 300 percent. As a result, Mexican corn farmers, who comprise the majority of the country’s agricultural sector, experienced drastic declines in the domestic price of their product. It should come as no surprise, then, that the United States began to experience an influx of Mexicans looking for employment in the latter half of the 1990s. Mexican farmers are now rightly protesting, because they cannot compete against prices that are artificially deflated for the sake of protecting Americans from necessary market corrections.

Holmes explains that migrant and seasonal farm workers suffer the poorest health status within the agriculture industry. For example, migrant workers have increased rates of many chronic conditions, such as HIV infection, malnutrition, anemia, hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, sterility, blood disorders, and abnormalities in liver and kidney function. This population has an increased incidence of acute sicknesses such as urinary tract and kidney infections, lung infections, heat stroke, anthrax, encephalitis, rabies, and tetanus. Tuberculosis prevalence is six times greater in this population than in the general United States population. Finally, Holmes reports, children of migrant farm workers show high rates of malnutrition, vision problems, dental problems, anemia, and excess blood lead levels.


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