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.