USDA ALLOWS SPANISH CLEMENTINE IMPORTS, MODIFIES COLD TREATMENT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has amended its regulations to allow imports of clementines from Spain to resume under controlled conditions.
APHIS also said it is altering the length of time that certain imported fruits and vegetables must undergo cold treatment.
The USDA banned clementine imports from Spain last December after live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae were found in several shipments already within the United States.
The new requirements include provisions that clementines be grown in accordance with a Mediterranean fruit fly management program established by the Spanish government, that the clementines be subject to an inspection regimen that includes fruit cutting before and after cold treatment, and that the clementines meet other conditions designed to protect against the introduction of the Mediterranean fruit fly.
APHIS said it is amending regulations for importing fruits and vegetables to provide that inspectors at the port of first arrival will sample and cut fruit from each shipment cold treated for Mediterranean fruit fly to monitor the effectiveness of the cold treatment.
The existing cold treatment schedules have been extended by two days for most approved temperatures.
The extension was recommended by a panel of USDA scientists who reviewed existing literature for efficacy of cold treatment against the Medfly.
Medflies are one of the world's worst destructive agricultural pests, threatening more than 250 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Details of the rule can be found on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.