U.S. Suspends Mexico Avocado Shipments Due to Inspector Incident

U.S. Suspends Mexico Avocado Shipments Due to Inspector Incident

The U.S. suspended avocado shipments from Mexico following after an incident that reportedly threatened the safety of American agricultural inspectors.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture notified the Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico of the decision late on June 14, according to a notice from the trade group seen by Bloomberg. While the statement didn’t describe the incident, local press reports say two inspectors were held against their will and attacked amid a protest over police pay.

The suspension is the second by the U.S on Mexican avocados in the past 2 1/2 years, temporarily cutting off Americans’ primary supply of the popular fruit. Mexico exports the vast majority of its avocados to the U.S.

Mexican officials have struggled to maintain secure conditions in Michoacan state, the biggest producer of avocados in the country, where gang violence and extortion are rampant. A ban in February 2022, triggered by a threat against an inspector, lasted a week while the Michoacan government implemented a security plan. 

A spokesperson for APEAM didn’t have an immediate comment. A call and email to the USDA weren’t immediately returned.

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