Bayer AG criticized Mexico for stopping imports of the key ingredient in its Roundup herbicide, warning that the country’s farmers will face a “major disruption” in fighting weeds.
The German agriculture giant is reviewing Mexico’s announcement from Monday, which said that the government was denying the entry of 1,000 tons of glyphosate as a precaution and would keep doing so as long as “no conclusive” scientific proof exists that the chemical is safe for people and the environment.
Bayer insists its product is safe. It picked up Roundup last year in its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto Co. Since then, the product has been a source of major trouble, with Bayer losing three U.S. trials against people who claimed that Roundup caused their cancer. Bayer is appealing those cases, but it faces more than 42,700 other U.S. plaintiffs making similar accusations.
Mexico became the latest in a string of countries to take action against glyphosate. Lawmakers in Austria voted in July to ban the substance as of this coming January while politicians elsewhere in Europe are mulling letting the chemical’s authorization expire at the end of 2022.
Vietnam and Thailand, meanwhile, have faced pressure from the chemicals industry as well as the U.S. government to back down from their plans to ban glyphosate.
“Bayer respects and shares the Mexican government’s interest in protecting farmers and consumers,” Bayer said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the decision to ban imports of glyphosate will not help improve food safety, security, or sustainability in the country.”
Mexico’s environment department said its resolution privileges environmental law over property or industry rights, and cited studies showing glyphosate’s harm to pollinators.
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