During the past few years, as many of you know, the initiative with a Legislative Bill reforming various provisions of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection, regarding the substitution of pesticides in defense of the environment, is in process.
The Confederation of Agricultural Associations of the State of Sinaloa (CAADES) believes that the initiative to eliminate the use of various pesticides would have serious repercussions for the Mexican and Sinaloa growers.
Mexico is one of the main growers and exporters of food in the world. It is one of the few industries with significant sustained growth in the last decade. More than 16 billion dollars of fruits and vegetables are exported each year.
Sinaloa is at the same time an important grower and exporter of vegetables, as well as the main producer of grains in Mexico. The state’s total volume of vegetable and grain production is around 12 million tons that are harvested on 800,000 irrigated and 300,000 rainfed hectares. The value of Sinaloa’s production amounts to approximately 3 billion dollars each year, of which $1 billion is from vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.
The initiative to reform and add various provisions to the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection regarding pesticides could have serious repercussions for the Mexican and Sinaloa growers. With the new definitions of Highly Hazardous Pesticides and the precautionary principal standard, without considering risk assessment, many important molecules for the protection of crops in the region could be eliminated, which would put us in a situation of vulnerability to our competitors.
Under this scenario of change, the marketing and formulation companies of these agrochemicals would have to invest in the development of new products to replace the current ones. This would increase their costs and, more importantly, the approval processes by the authorities, both in Mexico and in the destination countries, could take more than 4 years. There would even be the possibility of the emergence of a black market and illegal trade of inputs.
According to the proposal established by, Association for Crop Protection, Science and Technology (PROCCYT), “Highly hazardous pesticides will be subject to the implementation of risk reduction measures following a risk assessment carried out by the competent authority. The use of pesticides or those substances or compounds that do not have the current registration duly issued by the competent authority following the legislation of the matter, and those that are prohibited in international treaties to which the Mexican state is a party, is prohibited”.
CAADES agrees with this proposal since risk assessment is currently one of the tools adopted by the most recognized national and international certification schemes in food safety.
Growers and exporters that are members of CAADES and have commercial food safety certificates benefit from these tools to establish their preventive and/or control measures (procedures for carrying out their different activities, design of areas and facilities, use of equipment and tools, training, planning, continuous improvement, among others).
Another important part of the risk assessment, by official regulation, is that all growers/agricultural companies must purchase and use only pesticides that are registered and approved for such use both in the country of production (Mexico) and in the country of destination (USA, Canada, Japan, among others) as required by current regulations. For example, in Mexico, the COFEPRIS (Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks) issues the Coordinated Sanitary Registration (RSCO) and in the United States, it is the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). They must be used according to label instructions, including application ranges, worker protection standards, personal protective equipment, storage, and disposal of containers (see the Mexican official standard of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare on safety and hygiene conditions in agricultural activities, specifically in the use of phytosanitary inputs or pesticides and plant nutrition inputs or fertilizers, NOM-003-STPS-1999).
Thus, we consider that the decree to the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection regarding pesticides should consider in depth the aspects mentioned above and covered by the current regulations so that, just as the safety and the environment are taken care of, the production and exportation of Mexican food is not affected.
Veggies From Mexico, CEO