Lemons have been added to the list of fresh produce commodities that must be regulated to prevent the spread of Mediterranean fruit fly, but unripe tomatoes have been removed from the list.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued a final rule regulating the interstate movement of lemons from areas quarantined for Medfly, heavy infestations of which can wipe out crops.
The rule was published in the March 18 Federal Register.
The change was made to reflect recent research, which has found that, under certain conditions, lemons can serve as a host for Medfly.
Also in the March 18 ruling, APHIS corrected an error in Medfly regulations regarding the interstate movement of tomatoes.
In the corrected version, only pink and red ripe tomatoes shipped from quarantined areas must be regulated for Medfly.
But all tomatoes, regardless of how ripe they are, must be regulated if they come from areas quarantined for melon, Oriental or peach fruit flies.