U.S. border officials report an increase in egg smuggling attempts as the price of poultry meat rises amid inflation

U.S. border officials report an increase in egg smuggling attempts as the price of poultry meat rises amid inflation
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Border officials are seeing more seizures of eggs and poultry as people continue to try to bring much-needed food into the United States amid rising costs.

US Customs and Border Protection reports a 108% increase in seizures egg products and poultry at ports of entry from October. 1 ton December 31 of last year, according to the Border Report, a news outlet that focuses on the southern border.

“My advice is don’t bring them in,” CBP Agricultural Enforcement Officer Charles Pyne told the outlet. “If you fail to declare them or try to smuggle them in, you face civil penalties.”


Inflation affects egg prices

A shopper inspects eggs before shopping at a grocery store in Glenview, Illinois. Border officials are seeing more eggs seized amid rising prices and inflation. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh/AP Newsroom)

Egg prices rose the most in December in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico, according to retail data firm Datasembly, which collects real-time data from more than 200 retailers, including across North America. Walmart, Kroger and Target.

According to the retail data firm, a carton of 12 eggs is up more than 64% in all of the aforementioned states. That compares to an 18% increase in states like Oregon, California and Washington, according to the data.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a lot of Grade A eggs in November was $3.59. According to the Labor Department, the average price of the same cartoon a year ago was $1.72

Jennifer De La O, director of field operations CBP’s San Diego officetweeted on Monday that authorities there have seen an increase in raw egg seizures.

“Remember, uncooked eggs are prohibited from entering the United States from Mexico. Failure to declare agricultural products can result in fines of up to $10,000,” he wrote.

egg prices

Half-empty egg shelves are seen at a supermarket on January 8, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (And RYU/VCG via Getty Images / Getty Images)


Border officials typically don’t see eggs being smuggled into the U.S. compared to other products, such as cheese or certain fruits and vegetables that can carry foreign disease or harm U.S. agriculture. In October, CBP officers in El Paso, Texas, seized 484 pounds of bologna in a pickup truck and another 285 pounds of cheese in separate incidents.

Both suspects failed to declare the product and were each fined $1,000, authorities said.

Fox Business’s Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.

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