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December 7,  2001


 (SafetyAlerts) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has suspended indefinitely the entry of clementine citrus from Spain. This action has been taken because live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae have been found in Spanish clementines in Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina.

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has banned the sale or distribution of Spanish clementines in states where the pest could survive: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. The fruit must be removed from retail shelves. With advance approval from USDA or state agriculture officials, the fruit may be destroyed or shipped to an approved location.

The Medfly (Ceratitis capitata) is one of the world's most destructive agricultural pests, threatening more than 250 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables. The female Medfly attacks ripening fruit, piercing the soft skin, and laying eggs in the puncture. The eggs hatch into larvae, which feed inside the fruit pulp. The United States has no established Medfly populations, and USDA will remain vigilant in its efforts to prevent foreign introductions of this pest.

Source: USDA

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The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.