Mar. 23, 2020
CropLife Latin America issued an official statement stating that the illegal trade of pesticides in Latin America has grown: “Falsification, adulteration and smuggling of plant protection products or pesticides are crimes that not only affect the economy, but also health and the environment. Despite the warnings, efforts to combat them are still timid. Not only due to a lack of supervision, but also due to legal frameworks with little exemplary sanctions, as if they were minor crimes.”
CropLife Latin America is a non-profit organization managed by five companies: Bayer CropScience, FMC, Syngenta, Basf, and Sumitomo Chemical. The organization is also integrated by a network of 25 associations in 18 countries in Latin America. Globally, it is one of six regional affiliates, CropLife International, the Global Federation for the Crop Science Industry.
In 2019, CropLife Latin America claims to have participated in the 5th Congress of the Latin American Anti-Smuggling Association held in Costa Rica, aimed at raising awareness among authorities and participants about the negative impact of the illegal trading of pesticides.
Representatives of organizations combating illegal trade, such as the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illegal Trade, the Highway Police and the Federal Police of Brazil, the US Patent and Trademark Office, the Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics, chambers of commerce in the region, among others, analyzed critical issues.
The organization said that among the issues dealt with was the growth of criminal gangs and their performance, particularly in the Triple Border (Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina). The need to improve regional collaboration to dismantle them was also highlighted, as well as to increase the penalties for crimes associated with illegal trade.
According to estimates by CropLife Latin America, it is in this region that most of the illegal agrochemicals circulate. According to the Institute of Economic and Social Development of Borders, no less than 20% of the pesticides sold in Brazil are of illegal origin, equivalent to US$2.1 billion in sales.
To try to combat this problem, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development published the “Best Practice Guide for Identifying Illegal Trade in Pesticides”. There are 105 topics that serve as a checklist for implementing a national program against illegal trade. The guide includes practices of inspection, trade, use and the final destruction of illegal products.
CropLife Latin America presented this guide in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. “In 2020, we will continue to maintain the contents of the OECD guide, which is very well complemented by the report of the United Nations Agency against Interregional Crime, published in 2016,” said Javier Fernández, Director of Regulatory Affairs at CropLife Latin America.
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