Last week, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it is amending its citrus canker regulations to allow fruit from quarantined areas to be shipped to all U.S. states, based on the results of new scientific research. Florida is the only state in the U.S. that is quarantined for citrus canker.
APHIS’ analysis of the new research on citrus canker concludes that the disease is highly unlikely to be spread by harvested fruit without citrus canker symptoms. Even harvested fruit with visible citrus canker symptoms was shown in the research not to spread the disease as long as the fruit is disinfected at the packinghouse using approved methods.
As a result of this research, APHIS is amending its citrus canker regulations. Each lot of harvested fruit will no longer need to be inspected at the packinghouse and found free of visible symptoms of canker. Fruit can also be shipped to commercial citrus-producing states. However, APHIS will continue to require fruit moved interstate from a quarantined area be treated with an approved disinfectant and packed in a commercial packinghouse that operates under a compliance agreement.
Notice of this final rule was published on Oct. 22 in the Federal Register and became effective upon publication.
For additional information, log onto: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/plant_imports/plant_inspection_stations.shtml or http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/index.shtml.