The Philippines could be the next source of lychees, longans and rambutans for U.S. consumers.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a scientific review of the import risk of the tropical fruits in the March 6 Federal Register.
Lychees are grown in Florida, Hawaii, and California, and the USDA reports U.S. production is estimated to be about 500 metric tons annually. The U.S. also imports lychees from Taiwan, China, Israel, and Mexico.
The USDA concluded that a review of the risks should clear the way for imports of the fruits from the Philippines if they are irradiated and shipped in commercial consignments.
According to the Federal Register, the USDA will consider all comments received on the agency’s pest risk assessment by May 7.
In late December, the USDA issued a proposed rule that would allow the imports of irradiated lychees from Australia to all U.S. states except Florida.