By Mike Dorning
The U.S lifted a ban on imports of Mexican avocados after a reaching an agreement to address safety concerns of U.S. inspectors operating in a key region, the U.S. Agriculture Department announced Friday.
The import shutdown, triggered by a threat made to a U.S. food inspector, crippled the critical industry in the coastal state of Michoacan that supplies 80% of American avocado demand.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced it would resume inspections of avocados in the region and allow imports to resume after Mexican authorities and an avocado growers group agreed to to enact additional safety measures for inspectors, according to a statement from the agency.
“The safety of USDA employees simply doing their jobs is of paramount importance,” the agency said in a statement. “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.”