WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Federal officials have lifted a ban on commercial citrus shipments from Florida to the 10 other states and U.S. territories that grow the crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lifted the ban Thursday, 3 years after it quarantined Florida oranges and grapefruits because of crop pests and diseases.

Research now shows fresh fruit which has been disinfected isn't at risk of spreading canker, a bacterial disease that blemishes fruit but is harmless to humans.

Florida has also been beseiged by greening, a bacteria that sours fruit and gradually kills trees. A quarantine still stands on the shipment of trees, stems and leaves to prevent its spread.

The ban covered five states -- California, Arizona, Louisiana, Hawaii and Texas -- and five outlying island territories.


Information from: The Palm Beach Post, http://www.pbpost.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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