I was visiting with a USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection official today about the recent announcement that Mexican fresh pomegranates and pitayas (dragon fruit) have been approved for import to the U.S.
I asked the USDA official what other countries have been approved to ship pomegranates to the U.S.
And while he rattled off five or six countries that have been given the okay, he also gave me the source website to check for such questions. In the words of some unknown sage, he didn’t just give me a fish; he taught me how to fish for that pomegranate info.
Always keen to pass such lessons along to The Packer’s readers, I offer you the same resource now.
It is the USDA’s Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements website.
A sentence of welcome from the website:
Welcome to the APHIS Fruits and Vegetables Import Requirements (FAVIR) Database. This online reference allows easy access to regulations and information pertaining to the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States, its territories, and possessions.
The database is searchable by country and commodity. When I looked up apple, I found 21 countries approved to ship to the U.S. When I searched for tomato, I found that a whopping 60 plus countries have the okay to ship to the U.S.
And pomegranates? Chile, Colombia, Greece, Haiti, India, Israel, and now, Mexico.
Chew on that.
From Taylor’s post, the FDA acknowledges the issue of water safety is a testy one:
I am touring Idaho, Oregon and Washington this week with a team of FDA colleagues to learn about agriculture in this part of the country and to discuss with farmers, representatives of the food industry, agricultural extension scientists, and state agriculture officials the most effective ways to keep produce safe for you and your family.