New Medfly trouble for California
California faced two new setbacks in its war against the Medfly -- the discovery of five flies near Los Angeles, 300 miles from the main infestation, and a Japanese refusal to ease restrictions on fruit imports.
Two of five Medflies found in a backyard peach tree of a private residence in Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles, were fertile, lab tests showed, and along with them were discovered nine Medfly larvae, indicating a second generation of the destructive pest has taken root.
The discovery meant new troubles for the state's $14 billion agriculture business, fighting increasing restrictions on imports of California produce. It also bolstered Japan's stand after four days of talks, which ended in failure Wednesday for US officials trying to persuade the country to admit untreated fruit from California areas unaffected by the Mediterranean fruit fly infestation.
Plans for spraying an area of 40,000 residents in suburban communities east of Los Angeles were announced, and state workers went door to door telling residents to watch to aerial pesticide spraying.
The guarantine in Los Angeles County, the state's main distribution point for domestic and export produce, was added to six northern California counties already guarantined by the Medfly crisis.