(The AEGIS Alliance) – The move is taking a ripe step but they’d better hold onto their Hasses.
The United States is putting avocado imports on hold that originate from Mexico following a U.S. plant safety inspector getting a telephone call that threatened them.
Mexico’s Agriculture Department pointed out the occurrence took place in Michoacán, the sole portion of Mexico with U.S. market accessibility. Avocados are likewise produced in the U.S., thus inspectors operate in Mexico to make sure the exported fruit products do not possess diseases that are going to impact American crops.
“U.S. health authorities made the decision after one of their officials, who was carrying out inspections in Uruapan, Michoacán, received a threatening message on his official cellphone,” the department stated.
The Associated Press reports that the area is a prime location for drug cartel activity, consisting of territorial fights and also extortion efforts made against avocado growers.
The suspension is going to remain in effect “until further notice,” and it is not known when the U.S. could be affected by a lack of supply of the superfood or observe cost increases at dining establishments as well as supermarkets. However, a representative for President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the circumstances will likely be resolved within a few days, and also said the threat’s source has already been pinpointed, according to Bloomberg.
“It has no importance,” Jesus Ramirez pointed out. “There’s no problem so we’re going to see what more is required.”
The U.S. Embassy mentioned that “facilitating the export of Mexican avocados to the U.S. and guaranteeing the safety of our agricultural inspection personnel go hand in hand.”
“We are working with the Mexican government to guarantee security conditions that would allow our personnel in Michoacan to resume operations,” the embassy said.
U.S. inspectors had earlier been “directly threatened” in Ziracuaretiro, a city not far west fro Uruapan, in August of 2019. News in the area stated the cartel participants burglarized the truck while the inspectors were inside and aimed guns toward them.
Farmers the cartels extort can pay as high as thousands of dollars for every acre.
In September 2020, Edgar Flores Santos who’s a Mexican staff member for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service had been struck by gunfire and murdered because traffickers assumed he had been a cop.
Mexico exports around 100,000 tons of avocados each month and there are around $3 billion in yearly exports. Around 99% of avocados imported into the U.S. originate from Mexico.
“We encourage all those actors in this value chain to take extreme care and vigilance to preserve such an important export program,” the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico stated.
UPDATE: The U.S. began importing avocadoes from Mexico again only a few days after the stoppage.
Jeffrey Childers – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.