None of the South African clementines slated for shipment to the U.S. in 2011 were rejected by U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors.
The 100% clearance rate was reported Aug. 16 by the Citrusdal, South Africa-based Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, a consortium of growers.
Before leaving South Africa, and again on arrival in the U.S., all South African citrus was examined for insects or larvae by USDA inspectors, according to a company news release.
“We are not surprised by this news,” Gerrit van der Merwe, the forum’s chairman, said in the release. “For many years, our aggressive and scientific farming practices have worked to reduce pests. We meet and exceed all USDA requirements for our fruit.”
False codling moth is one of the pests South African citrus is particularly vulnerable to. To fight it, forum growers have adopted a technology known as X-SIT, whereby moths are sterilized. Using X-SIT has reduced moth population by 95%.