In some areas of the country up to 25-30% of the pesticides that are marketed are false, adulterated and pirated, points out Luis Eduardo González, president of the Mexican Union of Manufacturers and Formulators of Agrochemicals (UMFFAAC).
This is a serious problem on which we really do not know its scope, since there are no quantifications of the economic, social and environmental damage that is being generated, in addition to the fact that the authorities have not taken important measures in this regard.
The categories of illegal agrochemicals
According to the UMFFAAC, there are five categories of illegal agrochemicals: those without registration, counterfeit or pirated, adulterated or relabelled, and those smuggled through Mexican customs. Each of these represents certain risks.
For an agrochemical to be marketed in the country, it is required to have the sanitary authorization granted by Cofepris, which in turn requires the opinion of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Development. Rural (Sader).
Cofrepris reported that 108.3 tons of illegal pesticides and plant nutrients were secured in 2020, which represented the lowest figure in the last five years, and this is striking because it is known that the trade in illegal agrochemicals is increasing every year.
The role of social media
If one searches for pesticides for sale in social networks, it is very easy to find several profiles and groups that are dedicated to this activity, since when buying through these channels it is very difficult for customers to verify the authenticity of the products on offer.
For this reason, social networks have become the preferred means of sale for those who are dedicated to selling illegal agrochemicals, since farmers, wanting to save some pesos, look for someone who offers the products they need at a lower price.
The point is that farmers end up being scammed, because they do not buy what they are paying for, which results in a loss of productivity because they believe that they are carrying out a certain management, when in reality they are not.