The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has ruled that a group of organic almond growers can challenge a U.S. Department of Agriculture rule requiring pasteurization of all almonds.

The rule was recommended in 2006 by the Modesto-based Almond Board of California as a way to help minimize foodborne illness associated with almonds.

The USDA developed the rule as part of the almond marketing order it oversees.

The appellate panel, in a split 2-1 decision, didn't shoot down the rule. Instead, it said the group of farmers can proceed with their challenge.

Read the complete article in the Fresno Bee.