Mexican figs clear hurdle to U.S. access

06/16/2014 11:32:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Mexican fresh fig shippers are a step closer to getting their product approved for U.S. consumption.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a pest risk assessment paving the way for the importation of Mexican fresh figs, according to a notice in the Federal Register.

Fresh Mexican figs can be safely imported into the continental U.S., according to APHIS, if one or more of the following phytosanitary measures are taken:

  • Figs may be imported in commercial consignments only;
  • Figs must be irradiated with a minimum absorbed dose of 150 Gy.;
  • If the irradiation is outside the U.S., each consignment must be inspected by APHIS and the National Plant Protection Organization of Mexico and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate;
  • If the irradiation treatment is applied upon arrival in the U.S., each consignment must be inspected by the NPPO prior to departure and accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate; and
  • Figs are subject to inspection at the U.S. port of entry.

Before issuing a final ruling, APHIS will receive comments on the proposed rule through Aug. 11.

In 2013, the U.S. imported 4,748 metric tons of fresh and dried figs worth $6 million, according to the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

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Oregon  |  June, 16, 2014 at 05:28 PM

When consumers learn that these figs have been irradiated, there will be a backlash.

Produce Guy    
Texas  |  June, 17, 2014 at 06:23 AM

Tom: I don't think consumers know or care what they eat as long as it is cheap. Irradiation is just one of the many Frankenstein treatments we subject the produce we eat to. I don't see anybody complaining as long as a big box store runs them on ad 2 or 3 lbs for a buck.

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