Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2008
Publication Date: July 26, 2008
Citation: Gottwald, T.R. 2008. Science-based Regulatory Decisions.. Phytopathology. 98:S196 Technical Abstract: The most recent joint State/Federal Citrus Canker Eradication Program (CCEP) ended in 2006 after 10 yrs and a total cost of $1 billion. Although the press and a few outspoken residents claim it was a failure, it was not. The program held off Citrus canker (CC, caused by <i>Xanthomonas citri</i> ssp. <i>citri</i>) and gave the citrus industry freedom from statewide quarantines and national/international marketing restrictions for those 10 yrs, which have greatly increased production costs, and caused loss of markets. The operational basis of the CCEP was a series of science-based regulatory decisions: 1) The 1900-ft law, based on a research study of spread of CC in over 19000 trees in south Florida and required removal of all ‘exposed trees’ within 1900ft (579m) of a diseased tree. 2) The sentinel tree survey, based on the minimal distances of spread that set up a recurring survey within residential areas. 3) Following the hurricanes of 2004, a targeted survey based on the direction spread of CC during hurricanes was used to find and eliminate new infections. 4) Geo-referenced hurricane modeling was used to estimate the spread of CC from known existing infections due to hurricane Wilma in 2005 that estimated continued eradication would require removal of 169,700ac (68,675ha) of commercial citrus, 25.7% of the remaining industry, an unacceptable level and led to the end of the program in 2006.