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US restarting avocado, mango checks in Mexico after week-long pause

By Thomson Reuters Jun 21, 2024 | 8:54 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – U.S. health safety inspectors are gradually restarting inspections of avocados and mangos in Mexico needed to export the farm commodities to the United States, the U.S. ambassador said in a statement on Friday.

Ambassador Ken Salazar stressed that more work needs to be done to ensure the safety of inspectors, after a security incident in Michoacan state last weekend caused U.S. authorities to pause the safety checks.

“It’s still necessary to make progress to guarantee the safety (of the health safety inspectors) before we can achieve full functioning,” said Salazar, pointing to recent aggressions they faced.

The ambassador did not go into further detail, but he did express optimism more progress can be made at meetings scheduled for next Monday with government and private sector representatives.

Avocados, in particular, are a top Mexican farm export to its northern neighbor worth billions of dollars each year, as demand for the fruit has steadily grown.

Mexico’s top-producing Michoacan state, where the security incident took place, has for years dealt with extortion rackets perpetrated by powerful organized crime groups that has sought to profit from the lucrative trade.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by David Alire Garcia)