Pistachio growers in Arizona and New Mexico are now included in a federal marketing order that previously focused on regulation of California pistachios.


By an overwhelming margin, California pistachio grower-shippers approved a referendum that will amend the federal marketing order for the nuts. Other provisions approved include giving the Fresno-based Administrative Committee for Pistachios authorization to recommend research projects and changes to aflatoxin regulations. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain fungi.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the results of the referendum Sept. 28.


All of the amendments, which were proposed by the Fresno, Calif.-based Administrative Committee for Pistachios, captured at least 94% of the votes cast by the growers, according to a news release from the Western Pistachio Association, Fresno.


“This enables the entire U.S. pistachio industry to move forward collectively and tackle issues that the industry was not able to address previously,” Brian Blackwell, who chairs the association’s governmental affairs committee, said in the release.