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Eggs Being Smuggled into the US as Their Prices Rise

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The price of eggs is increasing, and this increase is driving attempts to smuggle them from Mexico into the US, say border officials.

Jennifer De La O, director of field operations for the San Diego CBP Office, said on Tuesday that more eggs have been intercepted at US ports of entry as a result.

Bringing uncooked eggs from Mexico into the US is illegal due to the risk of bird flu and Newcastle disease, a virus that affects birds, says the Customs and Border Protection. Bringing them into the US can result in penalties of up to $10,000.

An employee with the US Customs and Border Protection agency, Gerrelaine Alcordo, explained to CNN that the rising cost of eggs in the US is to blame for the increase in attempted egg smuggling. This year, the price of eggs in the US rose by 11.1% from November to December and 59.9% annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Passengers usually declare their eggs across the border, said Alcordo. “No consequence can be imposed on the person if they abandon the product,” he said. “CBP agriculture specialists will then collect and dispose of the eggs (and other prohibited food/ag products) as usual.”

A few travellers didn’t declare their eggs and were discovered during inspection. In those cases, the eggs were seized and the travellers were penalized $300. ‘Penalties may be increased for repeated offenders or large imports,’ he said.

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