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New Zealand suspends California citrus imports

Spotted winged drosophila (SWD) was detected in one out of 600 navel orange samples.

April 12, 2019

1 Min Read
Postdoctoral researcher Dong Cha (left) and entomologist Peter Landolt isolated chemicals from wine and vinegar that attract drosophila flies. U.S. and New Zealand inspectors are investigating how spotted-wing drosophila was detected on a navel orange sample.USDA ARS

During a routine inspection in New Zealand, spotted winged drosophila (SWD) was detected in one out of 600 Navel orange samples. Citrus is not a known host for the SWD. 

Because of this detection, New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has instructed USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to stop writing phystosanitary certificates for citrus exports to New Zealand, while they work with APHIS to conduct a thorough investigation. 

Meanwhile, APHIS is conferring with MPI about how to handle arrivals that are already in transit.

California Citrus Mutual officials say they are working in partnership with allied industry organizations, research leaders, and USDA APHIS to investigate the detection, provide reasonable alternatives for shipments already on the water, and regain access as quickly as possible. 

The industry and USDA are maintaining that whole, intact citrus is not a host for SWD and that this detection was an extreme anomaly.

Source: California Citrus Mutual, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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