How correct is the ban on glyphosate in Mexico

Members of the health sector and the Mexican government passed a decree that was published on December 31, 2020. In it ban the use of glyphosate on crops, since they believe it harms health.

Likewise, representatives agricultural industry They requested the verification of possible effects by scientific studies, so as not to endanger the country’s food security, national agricultural production or exports.

The regulation would enter into force from January 2024. However, it is still being analyzed whether there is a possible impact on the environment, economy and society caused by the ban herbicide in Mexico.

  • Some experts predict that the veto will reduce crop yields by up to 40%.

With this decree, Mexico joins the list of countries that have decided to accept the ban, such as Austria, which has adopted it since 2019, and the European Union, where the ban will begin in January 2024.

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Gradually reduce until the glyphosate disappears

He National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt) issued a series of recommendations to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Health to support the maximum amount of glyphosate they can introduce during 2022.

This measure is part of the process of gradually reducing the import of herbicides, which will culminate in its complete ban in 2024.

“The maximum quotas recommended by Conacyt for this year are equivalent to a 50% reduction from the maximum import quotas for Mexico recommended for 2021,” the council indicated.

In order for the reduction and evident ban not to have a sudden impact on farmers, Conacyt is planning integrated management plans and coordinated support for technological development and innovation, education and universal access to knowledge, to facilitate the transition to agriculture without this herbicide.

Some natural products have been discovered that can act as drying agents, for example d-limonene

Problems that this herbicide attracts

Although glyphosate is one of the most commonly used herbicides in agriculture Globally for weed control, half of this imported herbicide is applied to corn and citrus crops in Mexico.

And, due to its high genotoxicity, World Health Organization (WHO) warned of possible carcinogenic effects. Because of this, various countries have announced gradual or immediate bans to avoid harm to health.

except carcinogenic effectsnumerous scientific studies have linked glyphosate to:

  • Endocrine dysfunctions
  • metabolic changes
  • Cellular oxidative stress
  • Development of neurological and chronic-degenerative diseases

More sustainable herbicide alternatives

Some experts have discovered natural products that can act as drying agents, for example, d-limoneneknown as “citrus oil” and pelargonic acid or nonanoic acid, present in the essential oils of “geranium” from the genus Pelargonium.

He vinegar (acetic acid) It is also an alternative as a desiccant for cover plants and therefore can function as a natural herbicide for weed control, as it works by contact, destroying cell membranes and causing tissue desiccation.

This ingredient can control several broadleaf weeds., grass and sedge with an efficiency of more than 85%, and works well even in doses of 20%, provided that it is applied in the early stages of plant phenological development. It even has the advantage of not being a residual product and therefore does not pollute the environment.

Experts emphasize that all these practices are not isolated alternatives for replacing agrochemicals, but must be implemented together in order to achieve a transition towards agroecology.

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