Suspension follows security concerns, current shipments and shipments from other Mexican states not affected

The US has suspended avocado and mango inspections in the Mexican state of Michoacán in response to security concerns. 

According to a report from the Washington Post, a spokesperson for the USDA said the decision was the result of “security concerns” and the inspection programmes “will remain paused until the security situation is reviewed and protocols and safeguards are in place”.

The Department said shipments already in transit and checks in other states are not affected.

US ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar, said in a statement on 18 June that the safety of USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel was a priority.

“At the US Embassy, our top priority is protecting our staff across the country. To ensure the safety of our agricultural inspection teams, APHIS has suspended inspections of avocados and mangoes in Michoacán until these safety issues have been resolved,” said Salazar.

“This determination is based on the existing concern for the safety of personnel in Michoacán, not phytosanitary concerns.

“Next week I will travel to Michoacán to meet with governor Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla and the Association of Producers and Export Packers of Mexico (APEAN) to address, among other important issues, security.”

According to a report from Reuters, Michoacán state governor Alfredo Ramirez said in an interview with Radio Formula he expected the inspection suspension to be lifted before the end of the week starting 17 June.

According to the USDA, Michoacan accounts for 73 per cent of Mexico’s avocado production and until 2022 it was the only state eligible to export avocados to the US.