The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced changes to its import regulations for wheat from areas affected with Karnal bunt.

The amended regulations list regulated articles and regions affected by Karnal bunt and describe conditions under which wheat and related articles from those regions can be imported into the United States. The amendments also increase the flexibility of the regulations to provide for faster recognition of areas free of the disease; thereby, expediting the import of wheat from Karnal bunt-free areas.

These changes make APHIS' import regulations for wheat and related articles from areas affected with Karnal bunt equivalent to its domestic Karnal bunt regulations. Karnal bunt is a fungal disease of wheat, durum wheat and triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye, and is spread primarily through the movement of infected seed.

Karnal bunt presently is found in Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Syria and a few places in the United States.

Notice of this final rule is scheduled for publication in the Feb. 18 Federal Register and becomes effective March 21.

Source: USDA Release