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It’s been going on for years, but few have paid attention. Well before the global coronavirus plague, Florida is suffering another pestilence from China — a bacteria that’s killing the Sunshine State’s biggest cash crop.

Florida citrus is in freefall. This is a catastrophe for the state, and a public health and homeland security issue for the nation.

Our Senior Analyst for Strategy, Dr J Michael Waller, writes about the problem and an inexpensive possible off-the-shelf solution in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The plague from China is called “citrus greening,” known as HLB after its Chinese name huang long bing.

Florida citrus producers and state officials responded to HLB ten years ago by creating the Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF), whose mission is to “Advance disease and production research and product development activities to ensure the survival and competitiveness of Florida’s citrus growers through innovation.”

After spending $150 million in taxpayer- and industry-funded research to defeat HLB, CRDF has failed. “Once a tree is infected, there is no cure,” warns the US Department of Agriculture.

HLB is decimating our citrus groves. An inexpensive, off-the-shelf solution has shown promise for years, but the bureaucratized and politicized Florida institution responsible for testing has sat on its hands.

Read the full story here in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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