Vapor heat treatment for certain Hawaiian vegetables may end
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed to end vapor heat as an approved pest treatment for bell peppers, eggplant, Italian squash and tomatoes moving from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland.
The USDA said tests show that the treatment is not sufficient at killing the solanum fruit fly.
As an alternative, the agency proposes the use of irradiation for all peppers and squash shipped from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. Irradiation is already approved as a treatment for eggplant and tomatoes in this trade. Methyl bromide fumigation is another approved treatment for Hawaiian-grown tomatoes.
The USDA warned that if the solanum fruit fly is introduced to the U.S. mainland it could cause substantial damage to many fruit and vegetable crops.