Mexican court forbids imports of US potatoes

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican federal court has made an unusual ruling that bans the import of U.S. potatoes on the grounds the imports violate Mexicans’ right to food sovereignty and a healthy environment.

A group of Mexican potato growers had sought a constitutional injunction on the imports, claiming they threaten to spread agricultural diseases.

The court said Mexican agricultural authorities had failed to use methods like radiation treatment of imports to prevent diseases.

But because federal injunctions are intended only to protect constitutional rights, the ruling had to break some new ground.

The court ruled the ban must be implemented to preserve Mexicans’ collective rights to “preserve food sovereignty and the health of Mexican crop fields.”

The agriculture department had no immediate comment on the ruling.

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