Vietnamese dragon fruit arrives in U.S.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said the first shipments of irradiated dragon fruit from Vietnam arrived in Long Beach, Calif. over the weekend.
The USDA approved the importation of precleared commercial shipments of fresh Vietnamese dragon fruit, provided certain conditions are met.
To ensure that plant pests do not enter the United States, dragon fruit must be treated with specific doses of irradiation prior to export at a USDA-certified facility.
Each shipment must also be accompanied by documentation issued by Vietnam’s national plant protection organization certifying that the treatment and inspection of the dragon fruit was made in accordance with USDA regulations. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers reserve the right to inspect precleared commodities in the first port of arrival.
The USDA said Vietnam is the third Southeast Asian country to have fruit irradiated at an overseas site and approved for importation into the United States, following India and Thailand.
Irradiation became an approved treatment on all pests for fruits and vegetables entering the United States in 2002. In 2006, USDA approved a generic dose for a wider range of imported fruits and vegetables. Irradiation is an alternative to other pest control methods, such as fumigation, cold and heat treatments.