Report: Egg smuggling increases at the U.S. - Mexico border

Egg smuggling is starting to increase at the U.S.-Mexico border as egg-flation increases in the...
Egg smuggling is starting to increase at the U.S.-Mexico border as egg-flation increases in the U.S.(Pablo)
Published: Jan. 21, 2023 at 10:51 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — CBS News reports that egg smuggling across the U.S. and Mexico border is becoming more frequent as egg prices continue to rise.

Officials say that several individuals have been stopped at the border trying to sneak in raw eggs — a crime that can cost you up to $10,000. U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maier told CBS, “We are seeing an increase in people attempting to cross eggs from Juarez to El Paso because they’re significantly less expensive in Mexico than the U.S.”

The “egg-flation” phenomenon has raised prices in the U.S. to $4.25 per dozen, while the average price of a dozen in Mexico is around $3.40. Eggs aren’t the only product banned from crossing national borders — live chickens and turkeys also aren’t allowed. U.S. Customs says the reason for this is due to the potential of foreign parasites and diseases. Cooked eggs are permitted, however.

Director of Field Operations Jennifer De La O posted the following on Twitter:

Egg costs have climbed partially due to the wide sweep of bird flu across the U.S. It has been the deadliest bird flu outbreak in history, the USDA reports. Around 58 million birds were infected, around 43 million of which were hens that had to be slaughtered to prevent the spread.

According to the CDC, bird flu is easily spread among chickens because the virus is spread through chicken dung, flapping wings, scratching, and head shaking. From there, the pathogens can spread throughout a chicken coop, onto humans and through the air.

Eggs found in travelers’ vehicles crossing the border must be declared and will be destroyed by officers. If eggs or other contraband such as fruits, vegetables, or meats are declared, CBP officers will waive the fine. Check out what you can and cannot bring across the border here. A supervisory agriculture specialist at U.S. Customs in El Paso said, “We don’t want to issue the penalties, but occasionally we have to. So if you declare what you’ve got, there won’t be an issue.”

Want to save on egg costs? Mesa-based Inspire Farms suggests starting your own chicken coop, as long as your HOA and neighbors are okay with it! Learn more here. You can prevent the spread of bird flu among your chickens using this guide by the U.S.D.A.