BORDER TRADE ALLIANCE BACKS LIFTING BAN ON AVOCADOS

BORDER TRADE ALLIANCE BACKS LIFTING BAN ON AVOCADOS

The Border Trade Alliance has written to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support a proposed partial lifting of a ban on Hass avocados grown in Mexico.

The USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) has proposed a partial lifting of a ban on avocados, under a strict monitoring and control process designed to stem the influx of crop-destroying fruit flies.Public hearings were held recently in Washington, and the border trade group wrote to the Aphis regulatory analysis and development office and to Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, supporting the partial lifting of the ban.

"With all the precautions being taken, there is no further reason to limit the entry of Hass avocados during the proposed periods of the year," wrote William V. Stephenson, BTA chairman. "Continuing to do so goes against the principle that the U.S. has championed globally - the abolishment of non- tariff barriers."

The BTA said that Mexico exports avocados to more than 20 countries without causing fruit fly problems.

California avocado growers staunchly oppose lifting the ban.