In addition to proposing that irradiation facilities be allowed in 15 southern states, APHIS also proposes to establish “generic phytosanitary criteria” to replace criteria that are on the books for the three approved port cities.
The 15 states in the proposal are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The entire proposal has raised red flags for watchdog groups such as the Food & Water Watch.
Wenonah Hauter, executive director of that group responded almost immediately with a news release citing concerns about possible contamination of U.S. growing operations.
“The primary reason for this proposed rule is to allow the entry of fruits and vegetables that are currently not allowed into the country because of concerns that fruit flies and exotic pests present on them are a threat to U.S. agriculture,” Hauter’s release stated.
“The rule ... poses unacceptable risks to U.S. consumers, farmers and the environment.”