US Border Authorities Report Increase in Egg Smuggling Attempts as Poultry Prices Soar Amid Inflation

US Border Authorities Report Increase in Egg Smuggling Attempts as Poultry Prices Soar Amid Inflation

Authorities at the border are seeing more seizures of eggs and poultry as people continue to try to bring much-needed food into the United States amid skyrocketing costs.

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

“My advice is don’t bring them in,” CBP Supervising Agriculture Specialist Charles Payne told the outlet. “If you fail to declare them or attempt to smuggle them, you face civil penalties.”

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Inflation affecting egg prices

A shopper checks eggs before buying them at a grocery store in Glenview, Illinois. Border officials are seeing more egg seizures amid skyrocketing prices and inflation. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh/AP News Room)

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

A carton of 12 eggs is up more than 64% in all of the aforementioned states, according to the retail data firm. That compares with the 18% increase seen in states including Oregon, California and Washington, according to the data.

The average cost of a dozen Grade A eggs in November was $3.59, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A year ago, the median cost of the same cartoon was $1.72, Labor Department data shows.

Jennifer De La O, director of field operations for CBP’s San Diego office, tweeted Monday that officials noticed the increase in the seizure of raw eggs.

“As a reminder, raw eggs are prohibited from entering the US from Mexico. Failure to declare agricultural items can result in fines of up to $10,000,” he wrote.

egg prices

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

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Border officials typically don’t see eggs being smuggled into the United States in comparison to other items like cheese or certain fruits and vegetables that have the potential to introduce a foreign disease or be detrimental to American agriculture. In October, CBP officers in El Paso, Texas, seized 484 pounds of bologna found inside a pickup truck during an inspection and another 285 pounds of cheese during separate incidents.

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

Fox Business’s Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.

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