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Mexico: Tamaulipas’ chilli threatened by the US

US environmental authorities could ban chilli imports from Tamaulipas if producers fail to comply with the provisions of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), which state that they can only use agrochemicals permitted by law.

To avoid this health alerts, authorities are going to implement a number of strategies so that producers don’t make mistakes in this product’s next export cycle.

Humberto Ramirez Vazquez, assistant director of the Federal Plant Health, said that they were meeting with chilli producers to force them to implement awareness actions regarding the use of agrochemicals and so that they respected the maximum residue allowed.

They are also recommending producers to only use products authorized by the US government because there are some products that are allowed in Mexico that are not recognized by the environmental protection agency of the United States.

Authorities from COEPRIS, part of the Ministry of Health, will participate in the awareness campaigns because their job begins at the field and ends when the product is going to be packaged.

The product will always be checked, he said, as it can also be contaminated by harmful agents to man, such as Salmonella; "in which case it would become the responsibility of the health authority, which regulates these processes," he added.

Regarding sanctions, he said the legislation provides for the authorization of certain products, but that there still wasn’t any regulation about respecting procedures or security intervals.

That still is unregulated; however, the worst sanction would be not being able to export chilli, he said. That’s the reason they are working on an awareness campaign and training. We want producers to know what could happen if they don’t comply with these procedures, he stated.


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