SA stonefruit make U.S. headway

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SA stonefruit make U.S. headway

South Africa's apricots, cherries and plumcots are now one step closer to hitting U.S. supermarket shelves after a study found the fruits could meet the appropriate phytosanitary standards.

The department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) completed a risk assessment to identify pests of 'quarantine significance' that could be associated with importing these South African stone fruits.

"Based on that risk assessment, APHIS completed a risk management document idenfitfying phytosanitary measures that could be applied to mitigate the possible pest risks," the USDA announced in the Federal Register.

"We have concluded that fresh apricot, sweet cherry, and plumcot fruit can be imported safely into the continental United States from South Africa using one or more of the five designated phytosanitary measures listed in section 319.56-4(b)."

The conditions demand the fruit be accompanied by a South African national plant protection organization certificate, confirming it is free of cinch bug, while the cargo must also be imported as a commecial consignment.

APHIS would also demand apricots and plumcots be cold treated for fruit flies and false codling moth, sweet cherries would need to be cold treated for the Mediterannean fruit fly, while each consignment would be subject to inspection upon arrival in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the topic would be open to public comment submissions until Aug. 1.

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