January 29, 2023

US-Mexico border crossing in Jamul, California on November 8. Border Patrol brokers are reporting a surge in vacationers making an attempt to smuggle eggs into america from Mexico.

Frederick J. Brown/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

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Frederick J. Brown/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

As the value of eggs continues to rise, U.S. Customs and Border Safety officers are reporting a pointy improve within the variety of individuals making an attempt to carry eggs into the nation illegally from Mexico, the place costs are decrease.

Leap in smuggling sightings finest attributed to the excessive value of eggs within the US, which rose 60% in December from a yr earlier. The mix of the deadliest hen flu outbreak in U.S. historical past, exacerbated by inflationary pressures and provide chain issues, is answerable for the excessive costs consumers see within the grocery store.

This requires some drastic measures: some grocery chains restrict the variety of containers prospects can purchase.

And a few individuals go so far as smuggling eggs from outdoors the nation, the place costs are extra reasonably priced, risking 1000’s of {dollars} in fines.

A field of 30 eggs in Juarez, Mexico sells for $3.40, in accordance with Border Report. In components of the US, equivalent to California, only a dozen eggs now value $7.37.

Clients from El Paso, Texas purchase eggs in Juarez. as a result of they’re “considerably cheaper,” CPB spokesperson Gerreline Alcordo informed NPR.

Most individuals arriving at worldwide bridges are open about their buy as a result of they do not know that eggs are banned.

“Sometimes, items are declared on the time of preliminary inspection, and when that occurs, an individual can refuse a product with none repercussions,” Alcordo mentioned. “Up to now weeks or so, there have been a really small variety of circumstances” the place eggs weren’t declared after which discovered throughout an inspection, Alcordo added.

If merchandise are discovered, agriculturists confiscate and destroy them, which is widespread for banned merchandise. These persons are fined $300, however the high quality will be greater for repeat offenders of unlawful business dimension imports.

San Diego Customs Officer Jennifer De La O tweeted this week about “a rise within the variety of eggs intercepted in our ports.” She warned that failure to declare agricultural items might lead to a high quality of as much as $10,000.

In line with the CPB, the importation into america of poultry, together with chickens, and different animals, together with their by-products equivalent to eggs, is prohibited.

The USDA additionally prohibits vacationers from bringing eggs – excluding eggshells and in some circumstances mooncakes – from different nations on account of sure well being dangers.

Eggs from Mexico have been banned by the USDA since 2012 “based mostly on a prognosis of extremely pathogenic avian influenza in business poultry.”

Anzhela Kocherga is the information director of the KTEP member station.

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