(July 28) Thailand is on track to ship irradiated tropical fruit to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a proposed rule on July 26 that would allow imports of lychees, longan, mango, mangosteen, pineapple and rambutan from Thailand.

The USDA said the comment period on the proposed rule will end Sept. 25.

The agency said the condition of entry on all the fruit is an irradiation treatment of 400 gray. The agency said it did not prepare a comprehensive pest risk assessment for the tropical fruit, since irradiation would mitigate the risk of all insects except pupae and adults of a moth. Further visual inspection procedures are in place to further reduce the possibility of transporting invasive pests to the U.S., the agency said.

The USDA said Thailand can produce up to 5 million metric tons of the tropical fruits proposed for irradiation treatment. However, the agency said it would likely be several years after a final rule is published that Thailand would be able to export volumes of that magnitude to the U.S.