Oriental Fruit Fly Quarantine Prompts California Bill

Daniel CooperCalifornia Corner, Legislative, Pests

Oriental Fruit Fly

California Assembly member Eloise Reyes on Feb. 15 introduced a bill establishing a statewide goal to manage the introduction and spread of invasive species across California. Assembly Bill 2827 was introduced in response to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) quarantine for the Redlands and Yucaipa areas of San Bernardino County due to impacts of the Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF).

OFF is an invasive pest known to target 230 different fruits, including citrus, and has led to thousands of residences being forced to remove ripe fruit.

“The Inland Empire has deep roots in agriculture, in particular citrus,” Reyes said. “We have many businesses impacted by the current quarantine and we continue to advocate for support through the governor’s office to address the crisis on the ground. It’s critical that we bring attention to the impacts invasive species have on our shared environment and ensure we are implementing long-term strategies to protect our local economy.”

“This bill is an important step toward protecting the citrus industry from invasive pests that pose a serious threat to growers throughout the state,” said Casey Creamer, chief executive officer of California Citrus Mutual. “We’d like to thank Assembly Member Reyes for her leadership on this issue and look forward to working closely with her to pass this critical legislation.”

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state is currently experiencing one of the highest levels of exotic fruit fly infestations in its recorded history. In 2023, there were more than 800 fruit fly detections in 15 counties. In comparison, an average year will see about 75 fruit fly detections in seven counties. Officials from the department have stressed that OFF can cause billions of dollars in losses every year, if the species becomes permanently established in California.

Learn more here about fruit flies in California.

Source: California Assembly member Eloise Reyes

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