USDA proposes to allow South Korean Unushu oranges in Alaska
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed to allow imports of South Korean Unshu oranges in Alaska.
As a condition of entry, the oranges would have to be prepared for shipping using packinghouse procedures that include culling of damaged or diseased fruit and washing in a water bath. The oranges would also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with a declaration that the fruit was inspected for citrus canker agents.
The USDA suspended imports of South Korean Unshu oranges in 2002 due to increased interceptions of citrus canker agents at various packinghouses in South Korea. In 2005, the South Korean government asked the USDA to allow the shipment of Unshu oranges into Alaska until the citrus canker risk from South Korea could be adequately controlled for the rest of the United States.
Average annual imports of South Korean Unshu oranges between 1995 and 2002 were 644 metric tons, with maximum volumes of 1,518 metric tons for 2001 and 2002, the USDA said.
Comments for the proposed rule are due to agency by Feb. 2. For more information, contact Alex Belano of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Plant Health Programs at (301) 734-8765.