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USDA ADOPTS FINAL RULE EXTENDING CITRUS FRUIT PACKING EXEMPTION December 11_ 2008

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is advising the public that it is adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the regulations governing the interstate movement of fruit from an area quarantined for citrus canker to extend the temporary exception that allows fruit to be packed for interstate movement in bags that are clearly marked with only a limited distribution statement, if those bags are then packed in a box that is marked with both the limited distribution statement and the statement "Limited Permit: USDA-APHIS-PPQ." The interim rule extended the ending date for this temporary exemption from Aug. 1, 2008, to Aug. 1, 2010. The interim rule was necessary to provide for the continued use of existing inventories of bags in which regulated fruit are packed while maintaining safeguards against the movement of regulated fruit to commercial citrus-producing states.

Notice of this action is scheduled to be published in the Dec. 12 Federal Register. This rule affirms the interim rule that was published and effective July 31.

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Note to Reporters: Public notices and other APHIS information are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov and click on the “Newsroom” button. For additional information about this topic contact David Sacks at (301) 734-5271 or by e-mail at david.sacks@aphis.usda.gov.



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