citrus greening

Representatives Ask for HLB Pesticide Approval

Josh McGillLegislative, Pesticides

U.S. Representatives Kat Cammack and Al Lawson led members of the Florida congressional delegation to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for expeditious approval of Vismax, a biochemical pesticide for HLB.

HLB Pesticide Approval
HLB disease has drastically reduced production of Florida citrus.

A letter from the representatives asks the EPA to rapidly approve the use of Vismax in preventing HLB so the industry may access this product before the start of the 2022 growing season this October. HLB is also known as citrus greening disease.

The letter states: “Vismax is a patented biochemical pesticide containing a targeted peptide that helps trigger the tree’s natural immune system. With limited tools available to combat citrus greening, Vismax would serve as a welcome solution affording citrus growers in our state an opportunity to treat their Huanglongbing infected trees.”

“I’m pleased to join Rep. Lawson in leading this letter with my colleagues,” said Cammack. “As the lone Florida Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, I’m committed to ensuring that our domestic producers have access to products and materials that will increase productivity, generate economic growth and create jobs across the Sunshine State. Without EPA approval of Vismax, the citrus industry will experience crippling losses at the hands of infected trees, which is why we need to make this safe and effective treatment readily available to our citrus producers.”

“It is critical that we provide Florida citrus growers with every possible resource to combat citrus greening,” said Lawson. “Vismax is a tool that can be effective in preventing further devastation to the state’s successful citrus industry. Approval of this resource must be accelerated to maintain our growers’ livelihood.”

The letter had the support of Florida Citrus Mutual. Original signees of the letter in addition to Cammack and Lawson are Representatives Bill Posey, Carlos Gimenez, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Gus Bilirakis, Frederica Wilson, John Rutherford, Maria Elvira Salazar, Mario Diaz-Balart, Michael Waltz and Scott Franklin.

Source: U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack

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