President López Obrador wants to ban glyphosate and GMOs by 2024
Greenpeace Mexico and the national campaign Without Corn, No Country have welcomed the decision last month of the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, not to endorse or sign the preliminary draft of the Scherer-Villalobos decree, which does not prohibit glyphosate or GMOs. Víctor Villalobos is Mexico’s Agriculture Minister and Julio Scherer is a presidential legal adviser and both are known to be opposed to banning GMOs and glyphosate.
Critics say Villalobos and Scherer are betraying President López Obrador’s trust by seeking to prevent him from keeping his word about banning genetically modified corn and progressively outlawing glyphosate until its total elimination in 2024.
The critics say that the proposal instructs the relevant regulatory authorities to continue analyzing the possibility of granting permits for the cultivation of genetically modified corn.
After strong citizen opposition, the Scherer-Villalobos decree that was sent to the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (CONAMER) was withdrawn.
According to Greenpeace Mexico, the removal of the Scherer-Villalobos decree represents an opportunity to publish a decree that is in line with the president's aims.
Greenpeace Mexico said, "Now the opportunity is opening for there to be a presidential decree that responds to more than 20 years of peasant struggle, of communities, citizens, scientists, academics and organizations that have repeatedly demanded that decisive action be taken to prohibit GMOs and glyphosate in the country and to defend Mexico's food sovereignty.
"The decision not to endorse and to eliminate the Scherer-Villalobos decree of CONAMER, taking account of our national interests, the defense of our native seeds, our food self-sufficiency and sovereignty, is essential to advance and promote a new agri-food and nutritional system based on agroecological practices that do not affect health or harm the environment, and move towards self-sufficiency and food sovereignty.
"Likewise, we reiterate the urgency of a presidential decree that prohibits GMOs and glyphosate immediately in all government programs and fully in 2024.
"It is time to pay off the historical debt to the peasants, and to the genetic diversity in Mexico. Our Mexican territory must be considered and respected as the centre of origin of corn and native crops, including chilli, beans, squash, vanilla, cotton, avocado, amaranth, chayote, cocoa and maguey [a member of the agave family].
"The transition to organic farming is the only way we can ensure healthy food for a growing population without devastating nature and worsening climate change. It is a just cause for revaluing peasant agriculture, rescuing our native seeds and protecting the human rights of women and men farmers, and of indigenous communities."
Image of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.