US suspends avocado imports from Mexico after threatening US inspector

According to the release, the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has decided to suspend avocado inspection activities in Michoacan until further notice after one of his agents, who was carrying out inspection work in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening call on his official cell phone.

Michoacan is the only state in Mexico authorized to export avocados to the United States.

APHIS-USDA said an investigation is currently underway to assess the threat and determine what steps are necessary to ensure the physical integrity of all of its personnel working in Michoacan.

A meeting was held between APHIS staff and representatives of the Association of Avocado Producers-Exporters and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) with local and state police to resolve the issue.

“APEAM is actively involved in coordinating with the authorities of both countries to solve the problem in order to strengthen internal practices and processes that guarantee the traceability of the fruit. The facts mentioned here have already impacted the economy of the entire program , affecting the industry and the more than 300,000 jobs that depend on it. We encourage everyone in this value chain to exercise extreme caution and vigilance to preserve such an important export program,” said declared APEAM in a statement to the media.

According to protocols, US health agency staff inspect avocados that would be shipped and once approved, the avocados are moved to the packaging process, the department said.

In the past six weeks, Michoacan avocado growers have exported more than 135,000 tons of avocados to the United States, the Department of Agriculture said.

Michoacan’s geographic position relative to the Pacific Ocean has made it a turf war between criminal organizations fighting for territory and the profits of other industries such as lawyers.


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