US pauses avocado, mango inspections in Mexican state due to security concerns

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The U.S. has paused safety inspections of avocadoes and mangos from the western Mexican state of Michoacan in the wake of security concerns for U.S. Department of Agriculture staff, an agency spokesperson told The Hill.

The inspection program will stay paused until the security situation is reviewed and safeguards are in place for their personnel, the spokesperson added.

Mexican exports are not blocked, the USDA spokesperson said, but the avocadoes that have not yet been inspected will not be exported until inspections resume.

Avocadoes and mangos already in transit are not impacted, the spokesperson added.

Reuters reported the suspension came after an incident at a protest in support of local police in Paracho. Local press reports said two inspectors were held against their will amid the protest, per Bloomberg.

The suspension comes nearly two years after the U.S. temporarily banned avocado imports from Michoacan after an American plant safety inspector received a threat on his official cellphone. 

The inspector received the threat after he refused to allow a shipment of avocados due to safety concerns.

The 2022 ban was lifted following the enactment of some “measures” intended to keep U.S. inspectors safe.

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