APHIS works to protect the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources. APHIS International Services (IS) supports this mission in an international environment by: (1) collaborating with foreign partners to control pests and diseases before they can harm the U.S.; (2) facilitating safe agricultural trade; (3) ensuring effective and efficient management of internationally-based programs; and (4) investing in international capacity-building with foreign counterparts to build technical and regulatory skills that prevent the spread of damaging pests and diseases.
APHIS programs use atomic energy in three main ways: the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is used to suppress or eradicate pests such as Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) and screwworm, the irradiation of fruits as a quarantine treatment, and the diagnosis of foreign animal diseases using laboratory tests which have been developed using nuclear techniques to achieve high levels of sensitivity and specificity.
Aug. 1, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reached agreement with Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply to allow access for U.S. beef and beef products to the Brazilian market for the first time since 2003. Brazil's action reflects the United States' negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and aligns Brazil's regulations to the OIE's scientific international animal health guidelines.
On August 30, 2016 — APHIS published a proposed rule to allow the importation of fresh persimmon with calyxes from Japan into the United States. The persimmons would have to be produced in accordance with a systems approach that would allow imports while continuing to protect against the introduction of plant pests into the United States.
August 12, 2016 - China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) notified APHIS that exports of U.S. fresh strawberries could begin immediately. This follows the signing of the protocol in June 2016 and years of negotiations between USDA and AQSIQ. The California Strawberry Commission selected four airports in China as preferred ports of entry and is currently organizing the first air freight of fresh strawberry fruits to China.