Legislation Adds Ag Inspectors and Exports of Fruit Down-Veggies Up
**Efforts to keep agricultural pests and diseases out of the U.S. would receive a boost from legislation passed by Congress.
The bill provides funding to add more agricultural inspectors and "sniffer dogs" at airports and seaports, to check for produce and animal products that might carry those exotic pests.
Supporters of the bill say invasive pests and diseases cost the economy and environment alike. President Trump is expected to sign the bill.
**Exports of U.S. fresh fruits declined by 6% in 2019, while exports of U.S. fresh vegetables was up 4%.
Retaliatory tariffs still weighed on U.S. fruit exports to China in 2019. Trade statistics from the USDA showed nearly all major categories of fruit exports declined in 2019.
All fresh fruits were down 6%. Fresh Apples down 5%. Fresh cherries down 5%. Peaches down 2%. AND fresh pears were UP 6% at $164-million.
**Researchers have discovered faster, better ways to detect foodborne pathogens especially harmful to people.
According to two studies published already in 2020, Kansas State University researchers found a quicker detection method for finding shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC, which is often found in cattle feces and ground beef.
The study says traditional STEC detection can take up to a week to obtain definitive results. The new method takes one day.