Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) issued a press release Nov. 25, 2019, that announced the country would ban all future imports of the pesticide glyphosate, citing scientific evidence that it is potentially toxic to human health and the environment.
The department said that “glyphosate represents a high environmental risk, given the credible presumption that its use can cause serious environmental damage and irreversible health damage.”
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced in March 2015 that it had classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” after the agency reviewed about 1,000 studies. The review found that glyphosate was linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The announcement by Minister of the Environment Víctor M. Toledo also included the immediate banning of 111 pesticides deemed “highly dangerous.”
According to the press release, the IARC also estimated that glyphosate was being used in 45% of agriculture and that 8.6 million tons of the pesticide were produced worldwide between 1974 and 2014 alone. Its use also increased 15 times since 1996.
On June 25, 2020, the department announced its plans to phase implement a total ban of glyphosate by 2024.
Adelita San Vicente Tello, director general of the SEMARNAT Primary Sector and Natural Resources, announced that the agency is “analyzing alternatives” for glyphosate. Campaigns are currently being translated in various Mexican languages in order to educate and inform people about the pesticide.
“Beyond productivity, there is human and environmental health,” said San Vicente Tello.
By Emily Shiffer
Emily graduated with a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and is currently a full-time freelance writer living in Pennsylvania with expertise in health, wellness, nutrition, and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in publications including Women’s Health, Runner’s World, SELF, Men’s Health, Parents, Prevention and more.