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Review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Response to Petitions to Reclassify the Light Brown Apple Moth as a Non-Actionable Pest: A Letter Report

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has classified the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM)--originally from Australia and confirmed in California in 2007--as an "actionable quarantine significant pest" and has applied its authority to implement a program of quarantine restrictions and eradication, which has been met with some public resistance.

Some have petitioned for the LBAM to be reclassified as a "non-actionable pest" based on the argument that the moth is not a significant pest economically and can be controlled by means other than eradication. APHIS asked the Research Council to evaluate the scientific justification of the draft response APHIS wrote to answer the petitions.

This report from the National Research Council concludes that APHIS is within its broad regulatory authority to classify the LBAM as an "actionable" pest. However, APHIS would benefit greatly from referencing more robust science to support its position, as its draft response did not adequately explain the moth's most likely future geographic distribution in the United States or the level of economic harm it could cause.

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National Research Council. 2009. Review of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Response to Petitions to Reclassify the Light Brown Apple Moth as a Non-Actionable Pest: A Letter Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12762.

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31 pages | 8.5 x 11
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/12762
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