Phytosanitary Treatments

USDA History of Using Irradiation
as a Phytosanitary Treatment
Alan Green
IAEA Forum
Lima, Peru
November 27-30, 2012
Phytosanitary Treatments
• Agricultural commodities may become infested
with plant pests and carry these pests across
• Strategies to mitigate the risk from pests include
field measures, inspection, and phytosanitary
• Treatments include:
– Fumigation– methyl bromide
– Heat – hot water, steam, hot air
– Cold treatment
– Irradiation
Irradiation is a Promising Treatment
• It is effective against a wide range of pests.
• It has little impact on the commodity quality.
• Together, these provide:
– A great alternative to the use of methyl bromide.
– An excellent treatment for commodities for which no
treatment exists.
– A simple alternative to complex systems approaches.
– An attractive option for commodities that are damaged by
other treatments such as heat.
USDA is Facilitating the Use of
• Supporting research.
• Developing regulations, policies, agreements, and
• Establishing programs in the US and overseas.
• October 23, 2002: Overall requirements for
irradiation as a quarantine treatment
(Closely followed ISPM 18)
• January 27, 2006: Established generic doses for
all insects (400 Gy) and for fruit flies (150 Gy).
• 2007-Present:
– Approval of importation of irradiated fruit from several
– Establish pest specific doses.
Relative Tolerance to Irradiation
• High tolerance
– Apple, cherry date, guava, longan, cantaloupe, nectarine,
papaya, rambutan, raspberry, strawberry, tomato
• Medium tolerance
– Apricot, banana, cherimoya, fig, grapefruit, kumquat,
loquat, litchi, orange, passion fruit, pear, pineapple, plum,
tangelo, tangerine
• Low tolerance
– Avocado, cucumber, grape, green bean, lemon
Regulations: Required Doses (Gy)
Generic Dose: All fruit flies of the family Tephritidae
Generic Dose: All insects except adults and pupae of the order Lepidoptera
Rhagoletis pomonella
Anastrepha ludens, Anastrepha obliqua, Anastrepha suspensa
Conotrachelus nenuphar
Anastrepha serpentine, Bactrocera jarvisi, Bactrocera tryoni, Ceratitis capitata,
Copitarsia declora
Bactrocera cucurbitae, Aspidiotus destructor, Bactrocera dorsalis, Cylas
formicarius, Euscepes postfasciatus, Omphisa anastomosalis,
Pseudaulacaspis pentagona
Cydia pomonella, Grapholita molesta
Cryptophlebia ombrodelta, Cryptophlebia illepida
Brevipalpus chilensis, Sternochetus mangiferae
Policies and Agreements: FEWP
• Irradiation Treatment Framework Equivalency
Workplan (FEWP).
– Establishes a bilateral agreement between importing and
exporting country.
– Sets fundamental requirements to allow the use of
irradiation for phytosanitary treatments.
– Requires implementation of regulations for irradiation of
agricultural commodities.
– Provides for reciprocal trade in irradiated agricultural
• 10 Countries have signed the Framework
Countries That Have Signed the FEWP
Viet Nam
South Africa
Other documents required
• Operational (preclearance) work
• Field pest risk mitigations (good agricultural
• Preclearance inspection procedures
• Dosimetry systems
• Treatment verification process
• Post treatment safeguarding
• Product labeling
Operational Programs
Preclearance– Treatment of foreign origin commodities in the
country of origin.
Port of entry– Treatment of foreign origin commodities in the
• Key program components:
Dose validation
Treatment oversight
Program History
• 2000 Hawaii:
– Hawaii Pride facility opens on the Island of Hawaii.
– Papaya, Sweet Potatoes, Longans, Carambola, etc…
• 2007 India:
– KRUSHK facility certified in April 2007.
– Alfonso Mangoes.
• 2007 Thailand:
– Thai Irradiation Center (TIC) certified October 2007.
– Isotron Thailand certified March 2008.
– Mangoes, Mangosteens, Lychees, Longans, Rambutans,
Program History (cont)
• 2008 Viet Nam:
– Son Son Corporation certified August 2008.
– An Phu Irradiation JSC certified July 2009.
– Dragon Fruit.
• 2008 Mexico:
– Sterigenics certified Sept 2008.
– Benebion 2011
– Guavas, Mangoes, Citrus, Chile Manzano, etc…
• 2009 Mainland US:
– Sadex certified November 2009.
– FTSI certified March 2011.
– Various commodities for import and export.
United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Plant Protection and Quarantine
Regulations: Eligible Commodities
Eggplant, Okra, Pepper
Abiu, Atemoya, Banana, Breadfruit, Capsicum spp., Carambola, Cucurbita
spp, Dragon Fruit, Eggplant, Jackfruit, Litchi, Longan, Mango, Mangosteen,
Melon, Moringa pods (Drumstick), Papaya, Pineapple, Rambutan, Sapodilla,
Sweet Potato, Tomato
Rambutan, Papaya
Carambola, Clementine, Grapefruit, Guava, Mango, Chile Manzano, Sweet
Lime, Sweet Orange, Tangelo, (Figs, Pitayah, Pomegranate)
South Africa
Grapes, Stone Fruit, Pears, Persimmons, Litchi
Litchi, Longan, Mango, Mangosteen, Pineapple, Rambutan Dragon Fruit,
Viet Nam
Dragon Fruit, Rambutan, (Litchi, Longan)
Program Highlights
• More than 40 million Kg of fruit treated to date.
• Products have been well received, no known
cases of consumer rejection due to treatment.
• Opened new markets for at least 12 commodities.
• No treatment failures.
• No pest finds.
Export Volumes: 2010
Export Volumes: 2011
Export Volumes: 2012
Program Highlights: Mexico
• Mexico has led the programs in treatment
– Steady increase over time.
• Key reasons for success:
Well established fruit industry.
Multiple commodities.
Good logistics.
Low transit costs to the US.
Well managed irradiation facility.
Good market for the fruit in the US.
Lower USDA program costs.
Future Expansion of Programs
• First Port of Entry Program: Mangoes from
Pakistan began June 2011.
• Import/ export facilities in the US:
– Gulfport, MS– Expected 2013.
– US / Mexico border – several potential facilities.
• Preclearance programs expected:
– South Africa
– Malaysia
– Peru, Brazil, Philippines soon???
Export Program Future: USA Peaches
to Mexico
• Peach growers in the Southeast U.S. have been
looking for an effective mitigation for export of
peaches to Mexico for several years.
• USDA worked with the peach growers, irradiation
industry, and Chapman University to conduct
quality and feasibility studies.
• Peach quality was minimally impacted after
irradiation at 1000 Gy.
• Peach exports to Mexico expected to begin in June
Looking Forward: Challenges and
Areas for Improvement
Inefficient supply chain/ logistics.
Lack of economy of scale.
Commodity Output
Cost of USDA programs.
Regulatory restraints.
Fruit quality.
Logistics and Handling Improvements
• Locate irradiation facilities near ports and
commodity growing areas.
• Design and build product specific facilities to meet
the needs of the fruit industry.
• Standardize packaging to minimize costs
associated with repeated dose mapping.
• Create centralized commodity inspection centers.
Increase Program Scale
• Program costs should be considered on per unit
basis: Cost per box or cost per Kg.
• The more fruit treated, the lower the cost per unit.
• Increase the number of commodities eligible for
• Increase the volume of fruit treated.
• Condense shipping season based on seasonality
of fruit
Potential Programmatic Changes
• USDA programs can be expensive:
– By law, full cost recovery for inspector to be stationed
overseas is required.
• Use Foreign Service Nationals or officers of the
plant protection organization of the country of
• Delegate some oversight responsibilities to
• Accreditation of third party inspectors or auditors.
• Treatment in the U.S.
Next 10 Years– Big Picture Ideas
• Multilateral agreement that replaces current FEWP
and workplan structure.
Harmonization of program requirements.
Oversight by country of origin NPPO or accredited entity
Mutually accepted training.
Increased trade in irradiated products between parties.
• New or Re-fitted irradiators in US cities like
Newark, Chicago, Seattle, or near the Mexican
• USDA support the use of irradiation for
phytosanitary treatments!
• Use of irradiation has increased steadily in the last
10 years and is expanding at an ever increasing
• Opportunities for improvement exist, USDA is
working with the fruit and irradiation industry to
take advantage of these opportunities.
• We welcome input and suggestions for