USDA SUSPENDS IMPORTS OF SPANISH CLEMENTINES
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended indefinitely the importation of clementines from Spain.
The USDA said it had found Mediterranean fruit fly larvae in Spanish clementine shipments in Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has banned the sale and distribution of Spanish clementines in states where the pest can survive: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
“The fruit must be removed from retail shelves,” the agency said. “With advance approval from USDA and state agriculture officials, the fruit may be destroyed or shipped to an approved location.”
The Medfly is one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests, threatening more than 250 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables.