USDA Removes Eight Fruit and Vegetable Standards from the Code of Federal Regulations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces a final rule that removes seven voluntary U.S. grade standards and one consumer standard for fresh fruits and vegetables from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The final rule, published in the Federal Register on July 16, 2019, adopts a previously published interim rule without change.

Specifically, AMS removed from 7 CFR Part 51 the U.S. standards for apricots, cantaloupes, celery, honey dew/honey ball type melons, nectarines, peaches and Persian (Tahiti) limes. AMS also removed the U.S. Consumer Standards for Celery Stalks. None of the eight voluntary standards removed from the CFR are related to a current active marketing order, import regulation or export act.

This action is being taken as part of USDA’s work to remove regulations that impose costs that exceed benefits. Removal of the standards from the CFR will eliminate the cost of printing them annually.

These voluntary standards and all subsequent revisions or new standards for these products will continue to be administered and catalogued by AMS and will be available for use by producers, handlers, marketers and buyers. Any proposed, new or revised voluntary standards will appear in the Federal Register with the opportunity for public comment.

For more information on this action, please contact Lindsay Mitchell at (540) 361-1120 or