USDA to test imports of untreated Mexican citrus
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will allow imports of untreated Mexican citrus, such as grapefruit, oranges and tangerines, July 10.
The citrus must be processed in certain areas of Texas that are under quarantine for the Mexican fruit fly, the agency said.
To be eligible, the fruit must originate from production sites in Mexico that participate in a USDA-approved Mexican fruit fly prevention release program that uses sterile insects. USDA-approved traps and lures must also be placed in production sites within a 1.5-mile buffer zone that will be monitored by USDA.
Each shipment must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by Mexico’s National Plant Protection Organization, with additional declarations stating that the trapping requirements have been met, the USDA said. Untreated Mexican citrus must be packed in insect-proof containers or covered with insect-proof mesh or plastic tarps during its movement to Texas.