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Avocado safety checks stopped in Mexico

Michoacan inspections halted, Jalisco exports continue


The US has halted avocado and mango inspections in Mexico's Michoacan state. Two US Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees were assaulted and briefly detained while inspecting avocados, prompting the suspension.

The assault highlights safety concerns for US agricultural inspectors in Mexico. Ambassador Ken Salazar confirmed the suspension, emphasizing the need to ensure inspector safety before resuming inspections.

The affected employees belong to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), responsible for safeguarding US crops from diseases carried by imported produce.

Michoacan is Mexico's leading avocado exporter. Governor Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla downplayed the incident, suggesting the inspectors were never in danger during a local protest. He expressed hope for a quick resolution.

Mexico's avocado industry association distanced itself from the assault and is working with authorities to resume Michoacan's avocado exports.

This isn't the first interruption in avocado inspections. A similar suspension occurred in 2022 due to threats against a US inspector. Jalisco subsequently became authorized to export avocados to the US.

The current suspension won't immediately impact avocado availability in the US, as existing shipments and those from Jalisco can still enter the country. Ambassador Salazar plans to meet with Michoacan officials to address the situation.

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