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CBP shuts down fruit, vegetable imports from DR

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol inspector checks for "Medfly" bugs in imported peppers.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol inspector checks for “Medfly” bugs in imported peppers.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s San Juan Office of Field Operations announced Thursday the enforcement of a federal quarantine order suspending imports of fruit and vegetables identified to be hosts of the Mediterranean fruit fly, known as “Medfly,” coming from the Dominican Republic.

On March 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued an order to immediately prevent the entry or introduction of “Medfly,” a harmful plant pest capable of causing extensive damage to a wide range of fruit crops., from the Dominican Republic into the United States and its territories.

APHIS determined that the presence of the “Medfly” plague “poses a serious threat to United States agriculture, including certain fruits or vegetables grown in the United States, and that this serious plant pest threat must be immediately addressed.”

Medfly is not known to occur in the United States except in Hawaii and it is estimated that the species would be able to establish populations in southern regions of the United States.

The following produce from the Dominican Republic are prohibited from entering the U.S. and its territories, including Puerto Rico: avocado; clementine; grape; grapefruit; lemon; litch; longan; mamey (“sapote”); mandarin; orange; papaya; pepper; pummelo; tangelo; tangerine; tomato; and tuna (cactus fruit).

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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