Mexico’s Supreme Court approves the importation of fresh potatoes from the United States

Source: Fresh Plaza

Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN) approved the importation of fresh potatoes from the United States, unanimously denying the protection promoted by different potato producers in the state of Sinaloa.

The members of the court endorsed the constitutionality of articles 54, 55, and ninth transitory of the Regulations of the Federal Plant Health Law, which stipulate the phytosanitary criteria measures to allow the free importation of potatoes from the United States.

“The administrative authorities are better positioned to evaluate the risks of very dynamic factors, such as plant health and foreign trade, due to their attributions and their technical knowledge (analysis of phytosanitary risks). Thus, they have a clear advantageous position for decision-making,” the draft ruling added.

In 2018, a judge in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, granted a safeguard to agricultural producers from Sinaloa, considering that the 2016 reform to the Regulation of the Federal Plant Health Law, which allows the importation of fresh potatoes, violated the right to food putting national security and sovereignty at risk. According to the judge’s ruling, the reform could generate risks of quarantine pests and food dependency; However, the resolution of Minister Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena, indicated that the safeguard was based on hypothetical and conjectural reasons.

“According to this standard, judges should only check that the due factors have been considered, such as phytosanitary health and foreign trade, but they shouldn’t decide for themselves what their optimal combination is. The judicial authority does not have the institutional capacities to determine the application of stress factors.”