National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

Does it take too dang long to get fruits and vegetables approved for import into the U.S.?

The USDA seems to concede the point in a notice that says it is revising its method of evaluating pest risk in a way that will result in quicker, more efficient approval of fruits and vegetables seeking approval.

No comments are being taken on the revised guidelines for pest risk assessment, which run more than 140 pages and can be found online.

One consultant I talked with said some exporters/growers in other countries have been seeking access to the U.S. for some commodities as long as 40 years.

Will this be a one-way gate, with relaxed import rules putting our growers at risk? Or is this a long overdue step that may remove some trade irritants with our partners and pave the way to improved access for U.S. fresh exports?

At this point, let’s go with the latter and hope for the best.