Papayas from Malaysia may now be imported for commercial sale in the U.S., provided they are irradiated.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced the import approval Aug. 11 in the Federal Register. Also on that date, APHIS opened a 60-day comment period regarding whether to allow importing of fresh cape gooseberries with husks from Chile.
According to the notice, the national plant protection organization in Chile requested that the U.S. allow the importing of gooseberries. The gooseberries would be subject to inspections upon arrival. Each consignment would need a phytosanitary certificate from Chile stating that the gooseberries had been inspected in that country and they are pest-free.
To comment on the proposed importing of Chilean gooseberries, visit http://tinyurl.com/Chile-gooseberries.
During the comment period for Malaysian papayas, APHIS received only one comment. That comment, from a state department of agriculture, expressed concern about the effectiveness of phytosanitary measures required for the papayas. In the Aug. 11 Federal Register notice APHIS stated the commenter did not provide any evidence suggesting the measures are not effective, so it would not take action on the comment.
The Malaysian papayas must be irradiated as described in Part 305 of Sec. 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations with an absorbed dose of 400 Gy. Papayas irradiated outside the U.S. must be pre-cleared by APHIS inspectors in Malaysia and jointly inspected by Malaysian staff.
Statistics from the U. S. Foreign Agriculture Service show that papaya imports to the U.S. from all sources in 2010 totaled almost 153,990 metric tons. Mexican papayas accounted for more than 115,200 metric tons of those imports for 2010.