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USDA seeking comment on traffic of fresh turmeric from Puerto Rico to US

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) has drafted a pest risk assessment for the interstate movement of fresh turmeric for consumption from Puerto Rico into the continental United States.

Turmeric production in Puerto Rico is on the low end, and there are few statistics available about this economic activity. However, the island imported about 688,000 pounds of the root crop from the U.S. in fiscal year 2022, according to the External Trade Statistics report produced by the Puerto Rico Planning Board for that period.

“USDA has a quarantine for these products to enter the states. Several farmers requested that the conditions for export be re-evaluated,” Puerto Rico Agriculture Secretary Ramón González said. “The USDA believes that exports from Puerto Rico to the US can be made more flexible and that’s why they created this Risk Assessment Plan.”

The assessment describes potential pests associated with the product. The agency is sharing its draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead it to revise the document before it identifies pest mitigations and proceed with the commodity import approval process.

The document will be available for review and comment until midnight on July 5.

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

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