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US (CA): Roadside citrus confiscated

Inspectors from the Stanislaus County Department of Agriculture confiscated tangerines from sellers at the Turlock Sales Yard on Tuesday.

The inspectors are regular visitors to fruit markets and roadside stands so that they can inspect citrus and other produce for proof of ownership, said Milton O'Haire, Stanislaus County assistant agricultural commissioner.

Anyone selling in excess of 25 pounds of fruit must be able to produce a receipt to demonstrate where they bought the produce, where it was grown, when it was picked etc.

"We're concerned about the Asian citrus psyllid," O'Haire said.

"It's a really small insect, but it carries a really bad disease," O'Haire said.

"We don't have a lot of citrus up here, but what we have, we want to protect it," he said.

The confiscated citrus failed tests for sunburn, rot and freeze.

"They're bringing up citrus from different places," O'Haire said. Without the proper paperwork, it's impossible to tell if the produce came from an area that's been quarantined. Produce from such areas has to be processed, washed and waxed, then packed in standard containers. "Last year, we confiscated 2,000 pounds of tomatoes packed in banana boxes," O'Haire said.


Publication date: 3/20/2012


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