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APHIS Extends Comment Period for Proposed Rule on Importation of Hass Avocados From Colombia

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is extending the comment period for a proposed rule that would allow the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States. We are also notifying the public of the availability of a revised pest risk assessment (PRA) and risk management document (RMD) associated with the proposed rule. Continued analysis by APHIS shows that the proposed importation of Hass avocados from Colombia poses a minimal risk of introducing pests of concern, including the pink hibiscus mealybug, into the United States. Extending the comment period will allow interested persons time to review the new information and to submit comments by the new closing date of March 20, 2017. Continue reading

APHIS Reopens Comment Period: Importation of Hass Avocados from Colombia

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reopening the comment period for a proposed rule that would allow the importation of Hass avocados from Colombia into the continental United States.  We are also notifying the public of the availability of a revised pest risk assessment (PRA) and risk management document (RMD) associated with the proposed rule. Reopening the comment period will allow interested persons time to review the new information and to submit comments by the new closing date of February 16, 2017.

The PRA that we used to draft the RMD considered the pink hibiscus mealybug a significant pest that could follow the Hass avocados pathway from Colombia to the continental United States. We have subsequently determined that growing conditions for Hass avocados in Colombia, as well as the standard packinghouse practices used to prepare the fruit for commercial export effectively preclude the pink hibiscus mealybug from following the pathway from Colombia to the continental United States. Continue reading

EPA Extends Comment Period for Malathion Assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency is extending the public comment period for the draft malathion human health risk assessment.  The availability of the draft assessment for this organophosphate pesticide was originally announced on September 15, 2016.  The comment period will now close on December 21, 2016.

Read the September 15 announcement.

Learn more about malathion.

Public Comment Period Now Open for EPA’s Certification and Training Proposal

The 90-day public comment period has started for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for pesticide applicators who apply restricted use pesticides. These pesticides are not available for purchase by the general public, require special handling, and may only be applied by a certified applicator or someone working under his or her direct supervision.

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EPA extends the comment period to comment on protection of pollinators

EPA is extending the comment period on its proposed plan to prohibit the use of all highly toxic pesticides when crops are in bloom and bees are present under contract for pollination services. Initially released on May 29, 2015, the plan also recommends that states and tribes develop pollinator protection plans and best management practices.

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