Source: U.S. Dry Bean Council
Over the past months, we have reported on our concerns regarding a global surge in movements to ban to use of glyphosate and other herbicides/pesticides. Our biggest concern is that this will translate into the imposition of very low or zero tolerances for herbicide use in imported agricultural products, including dry beans. This would create a major disruption of trade. This is happening in many countries, but as our largest single nation export market, we have kept a close eye on developments in Mexico in this regard and in particular, the use of the Precautionary Principle. The Precautionary Principle would ban the use of any product without absolute certainty that it won’t cause health problems at some point. This is not a science based risk assessment, which is why there is so much concern.
Earlier this month, as reported in the Mexican daily, Reforma, and many other news publications, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) has ordered the gradual phase out of the use of glyphosate by 2024. While this does not translate into import restrictions at this time, it is of concern as it is not inconceivable that things could evolve that way. This concern goes beyond Mexico and applies to many of our other important export markets as well, including our largest regional market, the European Union. This is an issue of critical importance to USDBC. While CODEX has been the scientific standard for acceptable MRLs (maximum residue limits), that protect both human health and don’t disrupt trade, many countries are moving away from this and becoming more restrictive. We will be putting time and resources into this issue moving into the fall with the goal of preventing any disruption of trade.