Disease risk halts geranium sale in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has stopped the sale and movement of geraniums from a Michigan supplier because the plants may be carrying a serious plant disease included in the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act.

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin instructed state inspectors to stop the sale and movement of all geranium plugs (rooted cuttings) from the Glass Corners MI greenhouse of Goldsmith Plants Inc after notification from the United States Department of Agriculture.

The geraniums may be infected with a strain of Southern Bacterial Wilt (Ralstonia solanacerum race 3 biovar 2), an organism included in the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002. This disease is listed in the Act because it is not established in the United States and is a major threat to an agricultural commodity.

This particular strain of Southern Bacterial Wilt is a serious threat to Irish potatoes, and if established in the nation could lead to a quarantine by Canada and other countries that purchase seed potatoes from US growers. The disease also affects other plants, especially solanaceous plants such as tomatoes, tobacco, peppers, and eggplants.

The geraniums, which were sent to 25 locations in Georgia, will be isolated and monitored for any signs of infection.

TAGS: Foodservice
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