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Melissa O’Dell (301) 734-5222
Jerry Redding (202) 720-6959

CHINESE YA PEARS BACK ON U.S. MARKET SHELVES  

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2006–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that Ya pears from China have passed port of entry inspection, and trade to the United States has resumed.

APHIS suspended the importation of Ya pears from China in December 2003 after shipments of the fruit were found to be infected with Alternaria sp., an exotic post-harvest disease that poses a significant risk to the U.S. apple and pear industry. Because China has strengthened its phytosanitary measures, APHIS has lifted its suspension to allow, under certain conditions, the importation of Ya pears.

Under the regulations, all shipments of Ya pears destined to the United States from China must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate certifying the origin of the product and that the pears are considered free of quarantine pests. In addition, APHIS requires an additional declaration stating that the commodity has been grown in accordance with regulations that require the pears to be grown in approved orchards and packed in approved packing houses. APHIS selected these measures, among others, to effectively mitigate the risk of introducing plant pests, such as Alternaria sp., into the United States.

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