At the end of November 2023 a MAIZALL delegation conducted a successful mission to Costa Rica and Panama.

The delgation met with government officials and private sector groups to discuss the current situation concerning agricultural biotechnology in these countries, in particular regarding the import of GM corn. Our delegation was led by John Linder, MAIZALL’s President and was composed of eight other Directors from Argentina, Brazil and the U.S., as well as staff.

In Costa Rica the delegation met with the Ministries of Agriculture and Economy, the animal feed and health service (SENASA) and with private sector organizations in the supply chain. A draft Regulation, which has been around for several years and which could potentially create certain obstacles to the import of GM corn, received some impetus earlier this year following an Ombudsman inquiry. During our meetings, MAIZALL conveyed information on the prevalence of GM corn in the market and the many benefits of GM corn cultivation in our three countries (responsible for 70-80 % of global corn exports). The delegation came away from the meetings reassured that our messages were well received and that the draft Regulation was unlikely to move anytime soon.

In Panama MAIZALL met with diplomats from the U.S., Argentina and Brazil. We also had a useful exchange with the food industry in Panama on the biotech situation in the country. Like Costa Rica, Panama is also very dependent on (GM) corn imports and there are no current regulatory obstacles.

The delegation visited the headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Costa Rica and met with the Deputy Director General, Mr. Lloyd Day, to explore possible further collaboration.