Egyptian citrus exporters could re-enter the US

Over a decade after being banned in the US market, Egyptian citrus may be able to re-enter it. The US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed a pest treatment program for the import of Egyptian fresh oranges and tangerines, which includes mandarins and clementines.

US authorities prohibited the import of citrus from the Middle East in 2002 due to the presence of the peach fruit fly (Bactrocera zonata), because of which the Egyptian National Organisation for Phytosanitary Protection requested the use of cold treatment to control the pest.

"During the time since the import of Egyptian oranges was banned, APHIS prepared a list to identify the pests of quarantine concern that could also arrive with the import of Egyptian oranges and tangerines," says APHIS.

These pests are the peach fruit fly and the Mediterranean fruit fly (C. Capitata). Due to the fact that the Plant Health, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) manual does not include a treatment program against peach fruit flies in mandarins and oranges, it was announced that a new treatment schedule, deemed effective, has been introduced. APHIS will accept comments about the proposal until 17 June.

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