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Oral: When Science and Politics Collide: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


The Road to Perdition: The process from detection of exotic pests to regulatory action
C. MAROON-LANGO (1), E. Podleckis (1) (1) USDA APHIS PPQ, U.S.A.

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program safeguards U.S. agriculture and natural resources against the entry, establishment, and spread of economically and environmentally significant pests, and facilitates the safe trade of agricultural products. A key component of this effort is the identification of pests. PPQ’s National Identification Services (NIS) coordinates the identification of plant pests in support of USDA's regulatory programs. NIS categorizes identified pests based on their presence and distribution in the U.S., and their economic importance. NIS collaborates with scientists who specialize in various plant pest groups. These scientists are stationed at a variety of institutions around the country. Accurate and timely identifications provide the foundation for quarantine action decisions. Once identified, pests are subjected to a preliminary screening to determine whether the pests meet the internationally defined criteria for a quarantine pest or regulated non-quarantine pest. The regulatory significance of pests is further refined to determine if they are “actionable” at U.S. ports of entry. Once the quarantine and/or action status of a pest is established, APHIS can develop import requirements for host commodities and/or determine appropriate regulatory responses to any detections of the pest in the United States. This presentation describes the process and policy decisions from detection to policy determinations for exotic pests.