USDA Establishes Quarantine Area for Citrus Black Spot in Florida
WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a Federal Order, effective immediately, establishing quarantine and regulated areas for certain portions of Collier and Hendry counties, Fla., for citrus black spot. The Order outlines requirements for allowing the interstate movement of fresh citrus fruit from these areas and protects other citrus-producing states as well as our trading partners from this disease.
The Federal Order, which was issued on October 14, specifically:
Under the cooperative Citrus Health Response Program, APHIS is working closely with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Florida citrus industry to implement this regulatory action. FDACS issued a state-interior quarantine order that mirrors the Federal Order.
Citrus black spot, a fungal disease, was first detected in the United States in April 2010. The disease does not affect human health, but causes lesions on the rinds of fruit, rendering it unmarketable. It also causes early fruit drop and reduces crop yield. While all commercial citrus cultivars are susceptible to citrus black spot, the most vulnerable are lemon and late-maturing citrus varieties like Valencia oranges. New scientific research indicates that the risk of this disease spreading through fruit movement is minimal.
To view the Federal Order or for more information on citrus black spot or the Citrus Health Response Program, please visit the APHIS website at www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/citrus/index.shtml. In addition, saveourcitrus.org is a valuable source of online information about the serious threat of citrus diseases in the United States.Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom and click on the RSS feed link.
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