February 22, 2021

Mexico Publishes Actions for the Gradual Reduction of Glyphosate and Transgenic Corn

By Fernando Schoeneck

On December 31, 2020 the Mexican government published a decree in the Official Journal of the Federation detailing the actions to be carried out by Federal Public Administration agencies and entities to gradually replace the use, acquisition, distribution, promotion and importation of glyphosate and the agrochemicals used as an active ingredient in Mexico, with sustainable and culturally appropriate alternatives which allow for adequate production that is safe for human health, the biocultural health of the country and the environment (the “Decree”). Such Decree sets forth a transition period to achieve the total replacement of glyphosate, which period began on January 1, 2021 and will end on January 31, 2024.

To reduce the impact of the gradual substitution of the use and importation of glyphosate in commercial agriculture, the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) and of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) will be in charge of promoting and implementing sustainable and culturally appropriate alternatives to the use of glyphosate. The National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT) will be in charge of coordinating, promoting and supporting the scientific research, technological developments and innovations, which allow it to sustain and propose alternatives to glyphosate, by issuing annual recommendations to the competent authorities to allow them to set, where appropriate, the amount of glyphosate they will authorize for importation.

No later than the first half of 2023 the SEMARNAT, SADER and CONACYT are required to issue the relevant reforms of applicable laws to avoid the use of glyphosate as an active substance in agrochemicals and genetically modified corn in Mexico.  This is especially the case with respect to genetically modified corn, so that in accordance with applicable regulations biosafety authorities will revoke and refrain from granting permits for use of genetically modified corn seeds, as well as authorizations for the use of genetically modified corn grain, until such have been fully replaced, which should occur no later than January 31, 2024.

Please contact our firm if you have any questions as to the gradual reduction of the use of glyphosate and genetically modified corn in Mexico.