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Millions proposed to fight fruit fly that threatens Michigan berries

A bill in the US Senate aims to prevent the spread of the spotted-wing drosophila, that is severely threatening Michigan crops. The insect is tiny, but a small infestation can scare buyers away from an entire crop. It’s a significant problem in Michigan and a handful of other states.

Senator Gary Peters says his bill would spend $6.5 million a year for five years, researching ways to control the spread of the fruit fly: “Certainly, if we’re trying to help growers who have been impacted, that would have a much larger price tag, when you’re looking at an impact around the country estimated to be around $700 million per year. But we need to figure out how to mitigate this so it doesn’t happen in the future.”

The fruit fly has been in Michigan since 2010. A lot of the work to mitigate its spread is being done by Michigan State University.


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