USDA considers produce imports from Morocco, Zambia
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed rules to allow commercial imports of tomatoes from the Souss-Massa region of Morocco to the United States.
The USDA agency, APHIS, said the tomatoes would have to be produced under certain conditions at both the production site and packinghouse to ensure they're free of fruit flies and other pests. The tomatoes would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the Moroccan national plant protection organization verifying that the tomatoes were grown in registered greenhouses in the Souss-Massa region.
Similarly, APHIS proposed to allow the import, under certain conditions, of baby squash and baby zucchini shipments from Zambia.
The proposed rules would require the vegetables to be grown in APHIS-approved greenhouses designed to keep out pests, such as the pumpkin fly and American bollworm. The vegetables would also have to be protected by a pest-proof screen while in transit to a packinghouse, and packed in insect-proof cartons for shipment to the United States. The shipments must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by Zambia's national plant protection organization, stating that they were produced in accordance with the proposed requirements.