The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed to amend its rules to allow the import of fresh jackfruit, pineapple, and starfruit from Malaysia into the continental United States.
As a condition of entry, all three commodities would have to be irradiated for insect pests, inspected, and imported in commercial consignments. There would also be additional, commodity-specific requirements for other pests associated with jackfruit, pineapple, and starfruit from Malaysia, the agency said.
APHIS said the action was taken in response to a request from the Malaysian government.
Data on U.S. production and trade of jackfruit or starfruit are not available, according to the agency. However, the latest available data on U.S. fresh pineapple production is for 2006, when 99,000 metric tons were sold by Hawaiian producers. By comparison, fresh pineapple imports by the United States doubled between 2002 and 2010, from 406,000 to 809,000 metric tons, with Costa Rica as the principal source.
Malaysian producers expect to export to the United States about 2,500 metric tons of fresh pineapple (equivalent to 0.3 percent of U.S. imports in 2010), 1,500 metric tons of fresh jackfruit, and 3,000 metric tons of fresh starfruit, APHIS said.
“Importers and wholesalers that may be affected by the proposed rule are predominantly small entities. Small-scale Hawaiian producers of fresh pineapple, jackfruit, and starfruit mainly market to consumers within that state and are not expected to be significantly affected by the importation of these fruits into the continental United States,” the agency said.
The agency will receive comments on the proposed rule through July 8. For more details, access the Federal Register notice