Although the issue is not specifically food safety, the import of avocados from a state in Mexico has been banned because of a safety threat against a U.S. official.

The move comes after a drug cartel struck out at growers in the state of Michoacan, which is Mexico’s only completely permitted state for exporting the fruit to the U.S. market. The ban hits an industry with a total of almost $3 billion in exports to the United States.

The Mexican government reports that: “U.S. health authorities made the decision after one of their officials, who was carrying out inspections in Uruapan, Michoacan, received a threatening message on his official cellphone.”

According to the the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service branch of U.S. Department of Agriculture the United States has temporarily stopped avocado inspections in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Products that have already been inspected or are in transit on the way to the U.S. are not affected by the ban.

Avocados account for a large portion of produce advertising in the United States. They tied with ads for apples this past week, each accounting for 13 percent of ad dollars in the country.

In other import enforcement news, the Food and Drug Administration is continuing its use of import alerts to enforce U.S. food safety regulations for food from foreign countries. The agency updates and modifies the alerts as needed.

Recent modifications to FDA’s import alerts, as posted by the agency, are listed below. Click here to go to the FDA page with links for specific details about this week’s various alert modifications. 

Click on table to enlarge. Use link above to go to FDA page with links to specific alert modifications.

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