[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (20)
    • Antimicrobial (6)
    • Aquaculture (25)
    • Aquatic Organisms (18)
    • Bats (2)
    • Beneficials (38)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (18)
    • Biomonitoring (32)
    • Birds (12)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (8)
    • Children (46)
    • Children/Schools (227)
    • Climate Change (52)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (1)
    • contamination (99)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (9)
    • Drinking Water (1)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (131)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (235)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (148)
    • Fertilizer (6)
    • fish (5)
    • Forestry (2)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungicides (9)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (11)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (1)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (4)
    • Holidays (29)
    • Household Use (5)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • International (339)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (210)
    • Litigation (312)
    • Livestock (5)
    • Microbiata (8)
    • Microbiome (7)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (2)
    • Pesticide Drift (144)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (2)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (703)
    • Pesticide Residues (157)
    • Pets (23)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (1)
    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
    • Resistance (92)
    • Rodenticide (25)
    • Seeds (2)
    • synergistic effects (7)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (4)
    • Take Action (490)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (3)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (374)
    • Wood Preservatives (24)
    • World Health Organization (3)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

17
Feb

In Cahoots with Pesticide Industry, Former U.S. Officials Try to Stop Mexico from Banning Glyphosate, But Fail

(Beyond Pesticides, February 17, 2021) New details are emerging around the pressure campaign Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his administration withstood as the country moved towards banning Bayer/Monsanto’s glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide. According to documents obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request and published in the Guardian, U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) worked in coordination with Bayer/Monsanto and the agrichemical industry umbrella group Croplife America to stop the Mexican government from embracing a precautionary approach to pesticide regulation. While the Trump administration and its collaborators were successful in a similar campaign against Thailand, there are no indications that Mexico will rescind its final decision to ban glyphosate, made at the end of last year. Health and environmental advocates want the Biden administration to not only halt the regular use of the United States’ immense global power on embarrassing flacking for the agrichemical industry, but reverse course, and embrace a truly precautionary approach.

Croplife and the rest of the agrichemical industry are terrified of that outcome. In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, copying the heads of USDA and EPA, Croplife President Chris Novak wrote of Mexico’s decision, “These actions would establish a beachhead for the Precautionary Principle in the Western Hemisphere…”

An international gathering of scientists in 1998 produced the most often-cited definition of the Precautionary Principle:
“When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.”

Most individuals reading that statement would view it as common sense. However, the agrichemical industry, with it’s numerous activities that threaten harm to human health and the environment, sees this statement as “a policy that has wreaked havoc in Europe and global trading systems,” according to Croplife President Novak. In other words, a policy that does a good job at protecting the health and ecosystems at the expense of corporate profit.

Mexican President Obrador’s administration intends to transform the country’s food system for the better. Víctor M. Toledo, the country’s Minister of the Environment, said at the time that the decision to phase out glyphosate over the next four years was to produce food that is “safer, healthier and more respectful of the environment (más seguro, más sano y respetuoso con el medio ambiente).” In addition to exploring glyphosate alternatives, the Mexican administration indicates it will also look towards management practices employed successfully by indigenous farmers for thousands of years. To ensure a successful transition, an outreach campaign will educate the population at large about the dangers of glyphosate products.

Rather than attempt to build bridges, the agrichemical industry and its Trump administration allies worked to apply maximum pressure to Mexican officials. Glyphosate was brought up as a sticking point during negotiations over the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a major trade deal that went into effect last year. EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dunn of the agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, wrote in an email to EPA staffers asking for time to “discuss if and how we could use USMCA to work through these issues,” referring to Croplife’s glyphosate letter to agencies.

A letter from the former U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to the Mexican Minister of Economy fulfilled industry’s wish, and included a threat that the country’s actions around glyphosate and genetically modified crops “raise concerns with respect to Mexico’s ability to comply with its USMCA obligations…”

It is likely that Croplife sees the move towards precaution in Mexico as a broader threat to the agrichemical industry, the Guardian notes. “If Mexico extends the precautionary principle” to also include pesticide residue levels in food, “$20bn in US annual agricultural exports to Mexico will be jeopardized,” said the Croplife President.

It’s evident that what is most concerning to those overseeing the poisoning of our world is that it could end. The Mexican government’s embrace of a European-style precautionary approach could force major changes in how its North American trading partners grow food.

Although it would come with some disruptions, which would certainly be magnified by industry-funded public relations campaigns aimed at invoking fear (of events like high prices, and empty shelves — that will never come true), a transition to safer, natural and organic methods of growing food is exactly what is needed.

Join Beyond Pesticides’ campaign for the good of all people and ecosystems. Help us tell Congress and the new Biden Administration to clean up EPA and other federal agencies, and end this era of corporate deception by restoring integrity to the scientific process.

Over the last four years, in many respects the United States acted as the primary base of power for the agrichemical industry. Thus our job is exceedingly difficult, and will need extensive support and actions to achieve. Consider becoming a member of Beyond Pesticides to help fight against chemical industry influence in our regulatory process.  

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: The Guardian

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (20)
    • Antimicrobial (6)
    • Aquaculture (25)
    • Aquatic Organisms (18)
    • Bats (2)
    • Beneficials (38)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (18)
    • Biomonitoring (32)
    • Birds (12)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (8)
    • Children (46)
    • Children/Schools (227)
    • Climate Change (52)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (1)
    • contamination (99)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (9)
    • Drinking Water (1)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (131)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (235)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (148)
    • Fertilizer (6)
    • fish (5)
    • Forestry (2)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungicides (9)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (11)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (1)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (4)
    • Holidays (29)
    • Household Use (5)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • International (339)
    • Invasive Species (29)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (210)
    • Litigation (312)
    • Livestock (5)
    • Microbiata (8)
    • Microbiome (7)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (2)
    • Pesticide Drift (144)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (2)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (703)
    • Pesticide Residues (157)
    • Pets (23)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (1)
    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
    • Resistance (92)
    • Rodenticide (25)
    • Seeds (2)
    • synergistic effects (7)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (4)
    • Take Action (490)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (3)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (374)
    • Wood Preservatives (24)
    • World Health Organization (3)
  • Most Viewed Posts