Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), chairman of the California Senate Agriculture Committee, today issued the following statement after the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed the detection of the citrus disease known as huanglongbing, or citrus greening, in Los Angeles County:
“Diseases spread by invasive species are a constant threat to our agriculture industry. It has been feared that once the Asian citrus psyllid was found in California, it would spread huanglongbing to our citrus trees. The detection of the disease reinforces the importance for increased actions by the CDFA and the USDA to fight the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid.
“Now knowing that huanglongbing is in California, we must remain vigilant in doing all we can to support those programs that control the psyllid as researchers work toward a cure for the disease. We have seen the devastation it caused to Florida citrus, and we cannot have that repeated in California.”
Recently, much of Florida’s citrus crop was destroyed by the Asian citrus psyllid, which spreads huanglongbing, the most devastating disease of citrus in the world. In California, the psyllid was first discovered in the Hemet-San Jacinto area and has spread to Banning and Cabazon. There continue to be quarantines in effect in parts of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.