Predicting quicker approvals for fresh commodities seeking access to the U.S. market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to revise procedures for measuring risk of pests and disease in imported produce.
The USDA said the new guidelines are necessary to provide “clearer and more transparent” reviews of risk and will streamline the market access analysis process.
In a Federal Register notice, the UDSA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection said it last revised its guidelines for pest risk assessments about 10 years ago.
The revised process reflects recent science and international standards, the agency said.
“The new guidelines provide a more technically correct method of assessing risk by recognizing that the likelihood of pest introduction is multiplicative rather than additive; i.e., if one necessary step for the introduction of a pest has a low likelihood of occurring, there is an overall low likelihood of introduction of the pest, regardless of the likelihood of other steps,” the agency said in the notice.
Because the new guidelines are expected to make creating the pest risk assessment more efficient, the agency said that the time required to produce the pest risk assessments and respond to market access requests will likely decrease.