The president of Mexico announced Mexico will phase out the use of glyphosate in the country by the end of his administration in late 2024.
The decision comes after a disagreement between the heads of the country’s agricultural and environmental ministries.
“We couldn’t get rid of it in one fell swoop, it can’t be done, it would hit food output,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told reporters in Mexico City. “We would have to import, and also products and foods that are grown with these agrochemicals.”
The Mexican government previously stopped a 1,000-ton shipment of glyphosate pesticide from entering the country in November 2019, citing health and environmental concerns.
Glyphosate has come under recent scrutiny in the U.S. after recent billion-dollar verdicts against the chemical’s manufacturers. Several courts found that Monsanto Co., now Bayer Crop Science, “made efforts to impede, discourage, or distort scientific inquiry and the resulting science” about the health risks of Roundup, its popular glyphosate herbicide.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that glyphosate was a “possible carcinogen,” but Monsanto and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency argued that the chemical was not a carcinogen and was safe when used according to the label instructions.
Bayer AG recently agreed to settle 75% of thousands of lawsuits against the company in with an $11 billion settlement. That settlement is now reported to be in jeopardy.