APHIS HomeAbout APHISNewsroomCareer OpportunitiesHelpContact Us
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
USDA in Facebook APHIS in Twitter APHIS in Youtube APHIS Stakeholder Registry APHIS in Pictures APHIS in Blog APHIS RSS News Feeds

Browse by Subject
Animal Health
Animal Welfare
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Import and Export
International Services
Plant Health
Regulations and Assessments
APHIS User Fees
Wildlife Control and Management

Printable version

Claude Knighten  (301) 734-5271
Jerry Redding      (202) 720-4623


WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2006--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that it is inviting interested parties to submit an “expression of interest” to partner with APHIS to produce sterile fruit flies at a federal rearing facility, or to purchase the insects from a privately owned company, state or foreign government.

Recognizing the need to establish a secondary source for sterile fruit fly production, APHIS officials are exploring options for constructing a multi-species rearing facility to produce 550 million Mediterranean and 150 million Mexican fruit flies per week.  APHIS is also considering privatizing production of the insects, which are used to respond to emergency outbreaks and to maintain preventive release programs in California, Florida and Texas.

Reared Mediterranean fruit flies (Medflies) are sterilized with a small amount of irradiation and released into areas where they mate with wild Medflies.  The matings do not produce offspring, eventually eliminating the wild population through attrition.

Establishing a secondary source for sterile fruit fly production supports APHIS’ Exotic Fruit Fly Strategic Plan, which incorporates surveillance activities, control programs and regulatory actions to safeguard American agriculture against a number of fruit fly species, including Mediterranean, Mexican and Oriental fruit flies.

Over the next five years, APHIS officials, working with both domestic and international partners, intend to bolster USDA’s capacity to control fruit flies, which are considered one of the most destructive pests of fruits and vegetables in the world.
Interested parties wishing to make “submissions of interest” should do so in writing by Jan. 2, 2007.  The “submissions of interest” format can be found in the Dec. 1 Federal Register.   Send to:  Michael Stefan, director of fruit fly exclusion and detection programs, 4700 River Road Unit 137, Riverdale, Md. 20737.


Note to Reporters:  USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet.  Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/newsroom.  Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically.  Send an e-mail message to lyris@mdrdlyriss10.aphis.usda.gov and leave the subject blank.  In the message, type subscribe press_releases.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]