Growers Encouraged to Submit Comments Regarding Guatemalan Avocado Imports Risk Management Document

  • May 20, 2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has compiled a Risk Management Document concerning the potential decision to permit the importation of avocados from Guatemala, a region known for the prevalence of the avocado seed weevil. The document proposes a “systems approach” for inspection of Guatemalan avocado groves and packing houses that is of concern. Therefore, California avocado growers are encouraged to submit comments or letters (a sample is attached) and submit them to the USDA.

The proposed systems approach would consist of Guatemalan inspectors approved by the National Plant Protection Organization of Guatemala inspecting avocado groves and packing houses. It does not include a single measure (quarantine) option nor the use of USDA inspectors.

The sample letter included with this email catalogues the introduction of pests such as avocado thrips, Persea mite and avocado lace bug from other countries and the risks these — and other yet undiscovered pests — pose to the California avocado industry, which prides itself on low pesticide usage and relies heavily on biological controls.

Growers may submit public comments/letters concerning the pest risks of Guatemalan imports online. Letters and email also may be sent to the House Committee on Agriculture members noted below:

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