Due To Security Concerns, The US Halts Its Inspections Of Avocados And Mangos

(NewsReady.com) – The majority of the avocados in the United States are imported from Mexico. Most of them are grown in the state of Michoacán. Over the years, the imports have become controversial because of cartel involvement in the harvests. The US has now paused avocado and mango inspections in the state.

Two USDA inspectors were attacked in the town of Uruapan. They were caught in a road blockade led by people who were demanding better work standards and wages. The USDA workers were part of the agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. They were beaten and temporarily detained while traveling with trucks that were carrying avocados.

US Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar released a statement on June 18, announcing the suspension of inspections in Michoacán. He explained that the USDA employees were released but there are security concerns now. The ambassador said the US Embassy’s “top priority is protecting [its] staff across the country.”

The inspections will remain paused until Mexican authorities resolve the safety issues. According to Salazar, the suspension of inspections won’t impact products currently in transit or all of the mango and avocado imports. The order is limited to the problems in Michoacán.

Michoacán Gov. Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla spoke to the press and said that authorities were in contact with US officials. He said they were working to resolve the problems. Salazar is going to travel to Mexico to meet with Bodella. He said he remains “in direct contact with Mexican state and federal government officials.”

The State Department recently issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Michoacán. Americans are advised to avoid traveling to the region due to concerns about kidnapping and crime.

The latest pause isn’t the first time it has happened. In 2022, the USDA halted inspections after an inspector was threatened with violence by criminals in the area. That suspension lasted a week.

Copyright 2024, NewsReady.com