MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The United States, European Union, Canada and Switzerland, home to some of the world’s most significant food business, have actually pushed Mexico to postpone upcoming health cautions on processed food and beverages, a World Trade Organization file showed.
FILE IMAGE: Central American migrant children play with a soda dispenser near in an encampment in Matamoros, Mexico, at the end of the Gateway International Bridge, where migrants sent back under the “Remain in Mexico” program, officially called the Migrant Defense Protocols (MPP), await their U.S. asylum hearings, September 14,2019 Photo taken September 14,2019 REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Image
The Mexican requirement, scheduled to work in October, will need front-of-pack nutrition labeling that clearly explains the health risks posed when those products are high in sugars, calories, salt, and saturated or trans fat.
Mexico, the largest customer of processed food in Latin America and the fourth-largest in the world, has actually long fought with high rates of weight problems and diabetes. That health crisis has been exacerbated by the novel coronavirus, which strikes people experiencing those illnesses particularly hard.
Obesity reached epidemic proportions in Mexico after it joined the North American Open Market Arrangement with the United States and Canada in the early 1990 s, making processed food more quickly readily available, numerous studies have actually shown.
Recently, the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca banned the sale, circulation and advertising of unhealthy food and sugary drinks to kids, becoming the country’s very first state to do so.
According to WTO minutes of a May 13-14 conference of the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade, published on Monday, the U.S. delegation stated it supports Mexico’s public health objective of lowering diet-related non-communicable diseases but that it was worried the prepared labeling may be “more trade limiting than required to satisfy Mexico’s genuine health objectives.”
” Mexico has actually selected more rigid nutrient limits than the thresholds set by other nations,” the U.S. delegation said, citing the views of the government and 9 trade groups.
The United States, Switzerland, Canada and the EU opposed the Oct. 1 execution date. Washington and the EU sought a two-year hold-up while Canada asked for the start to be pressed back 12 months. Switzerland prompted postponement without defining a timeline.
Washington said a delay was required “in light of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, which has actually positioned significant pressure on the food and beverage market.”
The Mexican federal government did not right away respond to a demand for remark. But a Mexican government authorities with knowledge of the matter, who decreased to be named, stated: “We told them there would be no extra time.”
Pepita Barlow, assistant teacher of health policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said nations that are home to major multi-national food corporations such as Switzerland, the United States and EU most often opposed new food standards, concentrating on trade expenses and revenues.
The Mexican federal government authorities said the countries opposing Mexico’s standard were acting in a last-ditch effort to derail the modifications and putting their issues ahead of public health.
The Mexican private sector has actually also opposed the new rules. Jaime Zabludovsky, president of lobby group ConMexico which represents food and drink companies, recently said the labels would puzzle the general public, according to Mexican media outlet Aristegui Noticias.
The federal government authorities said Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, Nestle and Mexican breadmaker Grupo Bimbo were among companies that requested a delay.
The companies did not right away react to ask for remark. Representatives at the U.S., EU, Canadian and Swiss embassies did not react to ask for remark.
Reporting by Anthony Esposito