Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that China is lifting its suspension of red and golden delicious apple imports from Washington State. The Chinese market for Washington apples was valued at $6.5 million in calendar year 2011.
In 2012, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) suspended access for Washington red and golden delicious apples due to the repeated interception of three apple pests AQSIQ considers significant: speck rot, bull's-eye rot, and Sphaeropsis rot. To lift this suspension, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) worked with the U.S. apple industry to develop additional safeguarding measures that address China's concerns about these pests. Some of these new measures include cold storage of apples and visual inspection of apples prior to shipping to ensure there is no evidence of disease. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service also worked closely with industry stakeholders to ensure the successful outcome.
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