A decree by the Mexican government that prohibits imports of genetically modified corn for uses other than in livestock feed does not violate the country’s North American trade pact, said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a day after the US escalated a complaint. 

The president dismissed the US decision to establish a dispute resolution panel to determine if Mexico’s policy violates the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement, calling it a result of the influence of industry groups on the US political process. He chided his US counterparts, saying their actions were due to “the pressure of big agriculture groups, who are connected to lawmakers and have a lot of influence.”

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

He reiterated his previous proposal to have a joint research group to research the effect that such corn could have on people’s health. Much of the corn imported from the US is used for animal feed, though the president had previously raised concerns about it making its way into the food supply.

“It’s not just an issue for Mexico, it’s a matter that could help consumers in the United States and the result of the world,” said AMLO, as the president is known, at a press briefing on Friday. “We’re not violating the trade agreement.”