Background

Effective Nov. 30, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has lifted the federal order prohibiting imports of peppers from Spain. This order was imposed Dec. 30, 2015, in response to multiple detections of live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae.

APHIS states that in response to these detections Spain instituted a series of actions to mitigate pest risk and prevent future incidents, including tightened requirements for growers and packing houses to follow for inclusion in the approved list for export. An APHIS team subsequently visited numerous greenhouses in Spain where peppers are grown for export, reviewed fruit fly trapping data for 2015-2016, reviewed the fruit and vegetable export database program managed by Spain’s national plant protection organization, inspected facilities, observed an export inspection procedure by the NPPO at a Spanish port, and discussed growing operations and certification procedures with growers and government officials. Based on that visit APHIS has concluded that the new procedures being enforced by Spain are adequate to prevent future medfly interceptions.

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