Inspections of avocados and mangos resume after additional safety measure put in place

Inspections of avocados and mangos from a Mexican state are set to gradually resume following the temporary pause over an assault on inspectors. Two inspectors were illegally detained last week during field inspections in the state of Michoacán.

A spokesperson with the UDSA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says progress still needs to be made to ensure APHIS employees’ security before reaching full operations and more work needs to be done so APHIS inspectors are safe, can resume inspections, and that impediments to avocado and mango trade to the United States from Michoacán can be removed. On Saturday, a reduced number of inspectors resumed avocado inspections escorted by appropriate security personnel. Sunday, a reduced number of mango inspectors resumed inspections escorted by appropriate security personnel.

APHIS says it is optimistic that this matter is trending in a positive direction, but will not be satisfied until inspectors can continue their work free from security threats. USDA inspectors work in Mexico to ensure exported avocados don’t carry diseases that could hurt the avocado industry in the U.S.

Ken Salazar, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico says more work needs to be done to guarantee inspectors remain safe.  Mexico’s President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, recently promised to improve safety measures for inspectors.

The U.S. previously suspended inspections of Mexican avocados in February 2022 after an APHIS employee was verbally threatened.  Safety measures were put in place and the pause was lifted after a week.

The U.S. imports 80 percent of Mexico’s avocados and the Michoacán state accounts for about 73 percent of the country’s avocado production.

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