The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a draft pest risk assessment for importing lemons from northwest Argentina.
The agency is inviting comments on the 113-page document through May 10, according to a news release.
Instructions on how to comment on the pest risk assessment for the lemons are at the USDA website.
Argentine lemon exporters have been seeking entry into the U.S. for more than a decade. While the USDA opened the door for Argentine imports in 2000, that decision was successfully challenged in the courts the next year and the program was suspended in 2001. The USDA said the new pest-risk assessment on Argentine lemons incorporates new research, experience, and other evidence gained over the past 15 years.
The document said that Argentine lemon exporters estimate the total volume exported to the U.S. may total about 1 million cartons per year, or about 600 to 800 40-foot shipping containers.