Mexico proposes phasing out Roundup pesticide by 2024

Mexico's Agriculture Department has proposed rules for phasing out the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killer Roundup, by early 2024

MEXICO CITY -- Mexico’s Agriculture Department has proposed rules for phasing out the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killer Roundup, by early 2024.

The rules were praised by environmentalists and organic producers who have complained of pesticide contamination, but drew criticism from many farmers.

But previous rule proposals from the agriculture department had suggested that more study was needed. The new proposal is to look for replacements.

“Until January 31, 2024, a transition period will be established to achieve the total substitution of glyphosate,” said the proposal published last week.

“We do not use glyphosate on our crops, but we have been the victims of external contamination by this substance anyway” said Homero Blas Bustamante, president of the organic society. “This has caused economic losses for organic producers, mainly of coffee and honey.”

But the comments page for the proposed rule was crowded with dozens of messages from farmers angry about the change, saying they relied on the pesticide.

The European Union in late 2017 approved a five-year extension allowing the use of glyphosate in member countries.

Bayer, which bought U.S. rival Monsanto in 2018, has faced several lawsuits over Roundup in the United States.