On the one hand, President Manuel Lopez Obrador tried not to exaggerate the issue of the avocado import ban. He said exports of this fruit for last Sunday’s US football league event, the Super Bowl, had already been shipped, and had even been consumed. But on the other hand, President Obrador said avocado farmers in the US who wanted to compete with Mexican fruit products, and political factors, played a role in making the decision to ban avocado imports from Mexico.
“We are reviewing this matter to understand what the threat is. The fact is that Mexican avocados have been exported all this time. In this case there is also a lot of political interest, there is competition, they do not want Mexican avocados to enter the US because it will dominate the market because of its quality, then there are also other countries that are interested in selling avocados,” said Andrés Manuel López Obrador .
However, Obrador did not specify who the parties were trying to inhibit the consumption of avocados from Mexico.
In fact, the US does produce about 50 percent of the avocados consumed, and to protect these avocado plantations from pests, imported avocados must pass stringent inspections. In recent years, 90 percent of imported avocados have come from Mexico.
President Manuel Lopez Obrador has accused the US lobby of being behind the import ban.
“They’re lobbying, getting senators, public relations professionals and agencies to create barriers. Not just for avocados but also for the dolphin species. There’s always an economic and commercial interest behind it, or a political stance. But we’re studying this situation. have a very good relationship with the US government,” he commented.
Last Saturday, the US government banned all imports of Mexican avocados until further notice. The ban was imposed after a plant safety inspector for the US received a message threatening him while he was in Mexico.
Avocado farmers in Mexico have been victims of drug cartels and have experienced extortion like what happened in the state of Michoacan, western Mexico. Michoacan is the only state with full authority to export to the US market.
The commotion surrounding the avocado issue became even more chaotic because the exporter had already placed an avocado ad in the Super Bowl on TV on Sunday. Reportedly, the cost of advertising at this grand event reached $6.5 million per every 30 seconds.
One viewer of the ad tweeted: “Great avocado ad, but for the record, the US has stopped importing avocados from Mexico.” [jm/ka]