Pesticides in Central America: Changes in Labeling

Companies in the region can submit their applications for new labels according to the new Central American Regulation on Pesticide Labeling until December 20, 2020.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The regulation amendment came into force at the end of 2018, and stipulates that after the authorities approve the changes to product labeling, companies will have one more year to exhaust the existence of previous labels in the market.

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The general manager of the Gremial de Fabricantes de Productos Químicos para la Agricultura (Gremiagro), Alfredo Ortíz, told Prensalibre.com that "... Within four years there doesn't have to be a single label that doesn't comply with this regulation. The Ministry of Agriculture will be able to pick up the products that are in the supermarkets that do not comply with these labeling regulations."

The article adds that the authorities will have the power to "... consign the product which does not comply with these new regulations. However, products imported from any other country must also have such label. In addition, it is not allowed only to over stick a small one as they are done on products in several sectors, when they are in another language."

The changes to the labels consist of the former Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) classification, but will now be based on the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) classification, and the differences between the two refer to product classifications, toxicity and hazard.

According to reports from CentralAmericaData, from January to June 2018, the main buyer in Central America of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides was Guatemala with $86 million, followed by Costa Rica with $74 million, Nicaragua with $50 million, Honduras with $49 million, Panama with $47 million and El Salvador with $37 million.

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The agricultural chemical union of Guatemala states that the illicit commercialization of fertilizers, insecticides and fungicides, represents about 12% of the local market.

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Costa Rica: Objections to Meat Labeling Changes

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Lack of cattle traceability is preventing the food industry from comply with the amendments to the rules on labeling of meat products.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry:

We are opposed to the excessive and unjustified requirements on meat labeling.

Honduras: Law on Sale of Agrochemicals Approved

July 2014

The new law regulates the sale of products for agricultural use and establishes color bands labels according to the degrees of toxicity classified by the WHO and the FAO.

From a statement issued by the National Congress of Honduras:

Tegucigalpa - The National Congress finalised approval on Thursday, in a third and final debate, of the Adjustments to the Law for the Sale of Agricultural Products with Different Degrees of toxicity, presented by the Liberal MP for Choluteca, Yuri Sabas, and ruled on by the ordinary commission for health and which is part of the Government Legislative Plan 2014-2018, submitted last March by President of the Legislature, Mauricio Oliva.

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