California Table Grape Commission Encourages Permanent Abandonment of Systems Approach; Kathleen Nave Comments
FRESNO, CA - Recent decisions were made by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to pause regulatory work on the table grape systems approach proposed by Chile. In response to this announcement, Kathleen Nave, President of the California Table Grape Commission (CTGC), released a statement encouraging USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to permanently abandon the proposal.
“The Chilean proposal abandons an empirically successful treatment regime in favor of an ill-defined systems approach through which many invasive pests could travel. The change would introduce a significant risk of potentially devastating infestations to the wine, juice, raisin, and table grape crops across the country,” said Nave.
In the release, Nave explained that, according to comments submitted in the Federal Register by the CTGC, “the implementation of the proposed systems approach would end the current empirically effective requirement that all table grapes from Chile be fumigated before distribution in the United States.” The published comments note that the current fumigation is highly effective at killing pests that pose serious risks to the California table grape industry.
Nave continued, noting that Chile has adequate access to the United States marketplace.
“Chilean table grape growers have been shipping under the fumigation requirement for decades,” Nave said. “The latest three-year average volume of table grapes from Chile to the U.S. is 40 million 18-pound boxes, so the idea that Chilean growers won’t be able to supply the U.S. market without this new untried system is simply not true.”
To read the release in full, click here.
Keep reading ANUK as we continue to bring forth more updates regarding industry legislation and advocacy.