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Protecting Citrus Industry from Invasive Pests Prioritized by Reyes Legislation

For immediate release:
  • Matt Hamlett

(Sacramento, CA) - Today Assemblymember Eloise Reyes (D-Colton) introduced AB 2827, establishing a statewide goal to manage the introduction and spread of the invasive species across California. This legislation was introduced in response to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) quarantine announcement for the Redlands and Yucaipa areas of San Bernardino County due to impacts caused by the Oriental Fruit Fly. The Oriental Fruit Fly is an invasive pest known to target 230 different fruits including citrus, dates, and avocadoes and has led to thousands of residences being forced to remove ripe fruit, beginning late last month.

“The Inland Empire has deep roots in agriculture, in particular citrus. We have many businesses impacted by the current quarantine and we continue to advocate for support through the Governor’s Office to address the crisis on the ground. It’s critical that we bring attention to the impacts invasive species have on our shared environment and ensure we are implementing long term strategies to protect our local economy.”
- Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes

“For over a century, as a city in our Southern California region, our history has been closely tied to the citrus industry. Establishing a chain of command and resources for those affected by this issue is critical to ensure accountability when substantial quarantines threaten the livelihoods of our local, generational farms that cannot afford more than one season of losses. Thank you Assemblymember Reyes for championing this issue.” - Evan Sanford, Executive Director of the Redlands Chamber of Commerce

“For over a century California farmers have been proud to produce the highest quality citrus in the world. This bill is an important step towards protecting the citrus industry from invasive pests that pose a serious threat to growers throughout the state. We’d like to thank Assemblymember Reyes for her leadership on this issue and look forward to working closely with her to pass this critical legislation.” - Casey Creamer CEO of California Citrus Mutual

According to CDFA California is currently experiencing one of the highest levels of exotic fruit fly infestations in its recorded history. In 2023, there were more than 800 fruit fly detections in 15 counties. In comparison, an average year will see about 75 fruit fly detections in seven counties. Officials from the department have stressed that the Oriental Fruit Fly can cause billions of dollar in losses every year, if the species becomes permanently established in California.