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US government suspends Mexican avocado imports one day before Super Bowl

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico has admitted that the US government has suspended imports of Mexican avocados after a US plant safety inspector received a threat.

The unexpected suspension was confirmed late Saturday on the eve of Super Bowlbiggest sales opportunity of the year for Mexican avocado growers, Associated Press reports. The suspension will not affect game day consumption as those avocados have already shipped.

Avocado exports are the latest victim of a war between drug cartels and extortion of avocado growers in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, the only state in Mexico authorized to fully export to the US market.

The US has suspended all Mexican avocado imports “until further notice” after a US factory inspector in Mexico received a threatening text message.

“US health authorities… made the decision after one of their officials, who was conducting tests in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official mobile phone. me,” wrote the Mexican Department of Agriculture.

The import ban came on the same day the Mexican avocado growers and packers association announced Super Bowl ads for this year, AP confirmed. Mexican exporters have been running expensive advertising for nearly a decade in an attempt to associate guacamole as a Super Bowl tradition.

This year’s ad shows Julius Caesar and a group of gladiator fans roughing up outside what appears to be the Colosseum, mellowing their glaringly violent difference by enjoying guacamole and avocado.

Because the United States also grows avocados, U.S. inspectors work in Mexico to make sure exported avocados don’t carry diseases that can harm U.S. crops, the AP reported. IOnly in 1997 did the United States lift a ban on Mexican avocados that had been in place since 1914 to prevent a host of weevils, scale, and pests from entering U.S. orchards.

It is not the first time violence in Michoacan – where the Jalisco gang is battling on the field against a collection of local gangs known as the United Cartels – has threatened avocados, the state’s most lucrative crop. .

Many avocado growers in Michoacan say drug cartels threaten them or members of their families by kidnapping or killing them unless they pay protection, sometimes in the thousands of dollars per acre. Brother.

On September 30, 2020, a Mexican employee of APHIS was killed near the northern border city of Tijuana, according to the AP.

https://nbc-2.com/news/national-world/2022/02/13/us-government-suspends-mexican-avocado-imports-day-before-super-bowl/ US government suspends Mexican avocado imports one day before Super Bowl

Tom Vazquez

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