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Gill McShane


US considers South Korean tomatoes

USDA-APHIS is seeking comments on allowing the import of tomatoes with stems from South Korea into the US

US considers South Korean tomatoes

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The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) is considering granting access to South Korean tomatoes, according to a statement published in the US Federal Register.

“We are proposing to amend the fruits and vegetables regulations to allow, under certain conditions, the importation into the United States of commercial consignments of tomatoes with stems from the Republic of Korea,” USDA-APHIS said.

The conditions for the import of tomatoes with stems from South Korea include requirements for pest exclusion at the production site, fruit fly trapping inside and outside the production site, and pest-excluding packhouse procedures.

The tomatoes would also be required to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the national plant protection organization of South Korea with an additional declaration confirming that the tomatoes had been produced in accordance with the proposed requirements.

This action would allow for the importation of tomatoes with stems from the Republic of Korea while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of injurious plant pests into the US, according to USDA-APHIS.

If the proposed rule is adopted, South Korea expects to export one 40-foot shipping container (or 25 tonnes) of fresh tomatoes with stems to the US each year.

Total US tomato supply, in comparison, was 2.5m tonnes in 2009.

“Therefore, while the majority of domestic tomato farms are small, the impact of the proposed tomato imports from South Korea would be negligible,” USDA-APHIS explained.

The deadline for comment on the proposed ruling is 16 May.


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