Planting Seeds - Food & Farming News from CDFA

USDA invests more than $100 million in fruit fly eradication efforts

Taken from a USDA news release

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly, one of a series of invasive fruit flies that threaten California’s environment and food production.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is using emergency funding to respond to threats associated with growing outbreaks of exotic fruit flies in California.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of $213.3 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS to directly support emergency response efforts domestically and internationally to protect fruit, vegetable and livestock industries and producers — $103.5 million of that funding will be provided for invasive fruit fly programs. The rest will be used to combat New World Screwworm detections in areas of Panama and other areas that are critical to preventing the pest from spreading back into North America.   

“Increasing our response efforts to exotic fruit fly and New World screwworm outbreaks is critical to minimizing their potential impact on our nation’s agriculture and trade,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “This funding will enable us to swiftly prevent both populations’ further spread before they become established and harder to eradicate.”

Exotic fruit flies are among the most destructive fruit and vegetable pests in the world.  APHIS will use this funding to address known outbreaks of fruit flies in California and increase preventive activities in other susceptible areas in the United States. APHIS will also use the funding to address the increasing numbers of fruit fly incursions in areas of Guatemala and Mexico, where APHIS and cooperators maintain a buffer against northward spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly.

“We greatly appreciate our long and productive partnership with the USDA,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We have had a very difficult year with invasive fruit flies in California, and this investment puts us in a stronger position to eradicate infestations as quickly as possible while evaluating commerce pathways and other factors to better understand why detections have increased.”


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