( USDA )

Two detections of Mediterranean fruit fly larvae in commercial shipments have caused the U.S. Department of Agriculture to shut down imports of Peruvian pomegranate arils.

The USDA made the announcement in a June 11 bulletin

Prior to the order, the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service said pomegranate arils were allowed into the U.S. with inspection at the first port of entry.

In May, the agency said Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Los Angeles International Airport detected Medfly larvae in two commercial consignments of pomegranate arils from Peru. 

“Due to the pest risk, APHIS has determined that prohibition of pomegranate arils from Peru is immediately necessary to prevent the entry of Medfly into the United States, pending an investigation and appropriate remedial measures,” the agency said.

With prescribed treatment, the agency said whole pomegranate fruit from Peru can still enter the U.S.