With egg prices exponentially increasing in the U.S. recently, border patrol agents are reporting more Americans crossing into Mexico to buy and sneak dozens of raw eggs into the country along areas of the southern border like California and Texas.
“We are seeing an increase in people attempting to cross eggs from Juarez to El Paso because they are significantly less expensive in Mexico than in the US,” said US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Mair to CBS News.
“This is also occurring with added frequency at other Southwest border locations,” Mair said.
In a recent tweet by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection field operations director in San Diego, Jennifer De La O, noted that her office noticed an “increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports.”
According to the official, failure to declare agricultural items while entering the U.S. can carry fines of up to $10,000.
U.S. Federal law prohibits travelers from bringing certain agricultural products, including eggs, chickens, and turkeys, into the homeland because “they may carry plant pests and foreign animal diseases,” according to customs rules.
Since 2012, eggs from Mexico have been banned from entering America, according to the USDA. Cooked eggs, however, are allowable under the USDA’s rules.
According to Border Reports, following the final three months of 2022, the number of incidents in which raw eggs were confiscated at the U.S. borders increased more than 100% compared to the same period a year ago.
The price for a 30-count carton of eggs in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, is $3.40.
Egg prices in the U.S. have surged to an average of $4.25 a dozen, up from $1.79 a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
The cost of processed eggs used in liquid or powdered form in manufactured products, including salad dressing, cake mix, and chips, has also risen.
The price increase is driven by growing consumer demand and a decrease in domestic egg supplies caused by an avian flu epidemic that has devastated U.S. poultry flocks.
According to reports, around 58 million birds have been infected with the disease, and 43 million egg-laying hens have been killed, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, making it the worst avian flu outbreak in American history.
Officials at the USDA are investigating what caused the disease outbreak.
Charles Payner, a supervisory agriculture specialist at U.S. Customs in El Paso, Texas, explained that people entering the U.S. must declare eggs at the border. A customs officer will confiscate the eggs and have them destroyed but will waive the penalty for the offender.
“We don’t want to issue the penalties, but occasionally we have to,” Payner said. “So if you declare what you’ve got, there won’t be an issue.”
Following the Biden administration’s inauguration, border crossings at the U.S. Southern border have continued to increase, with illegal migrants crossing into border states along with drug cartels and illicit drugs.
Despite the calls from Congressional representatives to handle the border issue, the Biden administration continues to say that the border is secure even as border officials are overwhelmed.
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