On the determination and information regarding the importation of GLYPHOSATE; This is an active substance commonly used in the manufacture of herbicides, to combat weeds that affect crops.
The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (“SEMARNAT”) classified GLYPHOSATE as an active ingredient potentially toxic to human health and the environment, therefore, since last November 2019, and based on the precautionary principle and the Recommendation 82/2018 of the National Human Rights Commission (“CNDH”), through the General Directorate of Comprehensive Management of Risky Materials and Activities, has denied the importation of tons of GLYPHOSATE, causing incalculable economic damage.
Likewise, SEMARNAT warns that, according to the precautionary principle, it will not issue import resolutions in a favorable sense while:
(i) there is a well-founded presumption that the use of GLYPHOSATE may cause irreversible damage to the environment and health; and,
(ii) there are no elements and conclusive scientific information that guarantee that the use of GLIFOSATE does not affect or violate any fundamental right enshrined in our legislation, and it is guaranteed that it does not put the environment at risk.
However, SEMARNAT does not have reliable information on environmental damage from the use of GLYPHOSATE, and on the other hand there is information that guarantees the safe use of GLYPHOSATE.
A. Precautionary Principle
It is important to mention that the essence of the precautionary principle is to avoid harm. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992 establishes that when there are threats of serious or irreversible damage to the environment, the precautionary principle must be used.
In this regard, there are no data that indicate the existence of damage to the environment by the use of herbicides based on GLYPHOSATE; Basing the refusal to import on this principle is insufficient and incorrect.
Regarding CNDH recommendation 82/2018, it should be noted that the CNDH does not depend on any other authority. As stated on its own website, its mission is:
"The defense, promotion, study and dissemination of human rights recognized in the Mexican Constitution, international treaties and laws."
By its nature, upon receiving complaints of human rights violations, the CNDH issues recommendations, suggesting steps to follow. If this recommendation is accepted, proof of compliance must be submitted, or non-compliance should be justified if it is rejected. In other words, the CNDH's recommendations are not mandatory.
By preventing the importation of GLYPHOSATE into our country, for the aforementioned SEMARNAT:
I. Issues resolutions that are not properly founded.
II. It confuses the protection of the environment with the protection of health, thus invading the powers of COFEPRIS.
III. It contradicts what was approved by the authorities that make up the CICOPLAFEST, because since there is a previously authorized registry by COFEPRIS, SAGARPA and SEMARNAT to use GLYPHOSATE in the production process to obtain the herbicide, it means that it complies with all the toxicological, physicochemical and eco-toxicological.