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Subject: Medfly larvae in Spanish tangerines
Date posted: December 05, 2001
Source: Reuters; Riverside Press-Enterprise, CA
USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued a temporary ban on all U.S. imports of Spanish clementine tangerines after some of the citrus arrived in Philadelphia carrying live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae. The state of California closed its borders to these tangerines and ordered their confiscation from retail outlets. The Mediterranean fruit fly is considered one of the biggest threats to California agriculture, with the potential to do extensive damage to major crops. The California Department of Food and Agriculture became concerned about a boatload of tangerines from Spain that arrived through the Port of Philadelphia, after a retail outlet in South Carolina reported finding live Medfly larvae in fruit from that shipment. Fruit from the shipment was also distributed to Florida, Texas, California and Arizona.