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US: APHIS starts offshore greenhouse certification pilot programOn October 1st, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) kicked off an offshore greenhouse certification pilot program at the Miami and Atlanta plant inspection stations. This pilot will run for six months and will help APHIS and the U.S. nursery industry determine whether greenhouse certification can effectively mitigate pest and disease risks associated with plant cuttings produced in offshore facilities. APHIS and the nursery industry have been working together to develop and implement this pilot program for over a year.
On June 26, 2017, APHIS sought stakeholder feedback on the draft framework for the pilot program. They received feedback from five stakeholders within the 30-day comment period. In response, they clarified language in the framework regarding irrigation requirements, screen/physical barrier maintenance, and record keeping and retention. They also instructed certified inspectors to record information on pathogen testing procedures and processes at each pilot facility during inspection visits per stakeholder suggestions.
Publication date: 10/3/2017
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