Mexico bans thousands of Christmas trees from U.S. due to blight

Mexico’s Profepa federal environmental protection agency returned or seized 11,250 pine trees from the United States from Nov. 3 to Nov. 25 due to the presence of blight not previously detected in the country, officials said.

Profepa inspectors banned sales of the trees under the Christmas Tree Importation Verification and Inspection Program for the 2015 season, which will run for nearly two more weeks, the environmental protection agency said in a statement.

Inspection stations on the border with the United States have examined a total of 603,825 Christmas trees, with 61 percent of the inspections done in Baja California state; 24 percent in Sonora; 8 percent in Nuevo Leon; 6 percent in Tamaulipas; and 0.04 percent in Chihuahua.

A total of 13 shipments were returned and six others are awaiting the results of gardening tests, Profepa said.

Blight was detected during inspections at customs service stations in Mexicali and Tijuana, Baja California; Nogales home improvement and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora; Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa, Tamaulipas; Colombia, Nuevo Leon; and Puente Zaragoza-Isleta, Chihuahua. EFE


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