The U.S. has lifted its ban on avocados imported from Mexico, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced Friday. The decision comes after the USDA said one of its employees was threatened last week, prompting a halt in imports of the fruit.
The agency said Friday that its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has worked to enact more safety measures for inspectors working in the field.
Imports were halted last week after an inspector, who is responsible for making sure that Mexican avocados do not carry harmful pests into the U.S., received a threat "against him and his family" on February 11, according to a statement from the department cited by The Associated Press. The inspector had "questioned the integrity of a certain shipment, and refused to certify it based on concrete issues," the USDA said in a statement.
"The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is of paramount importance," the agency said in a statement Friday. "USDA is appreciative of the positive, collaborative relationship between the United States and Mexico that made resolution of this issue possible in a timely manner."
Ambassador Ken Salazar of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico said the U.S. and Mexico will "continue working together to fortify the strong bilateral supply chains that promote economic growth and prosperity in both our countries."
Following the department's ban this week, experts warned ofavocados during its peak growing season in Mexico. In 2021, the U.S. imported $2.8 billion worth of avocados from Mexico, according to the USDA.
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