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The Nation | IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

Damaging Citrus Germ Found Farther North

January 29, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

After a battle by the state to wipe out citrus canker in South Florida, the crop-destroying disease has spread to the Indian River grove country, which provides most of the bagged and boxed grapefruit sold to tourists and mailed around the country as gifts.

Federal inspectors searched door to door after canker blemishes were discovered last week on grapefruit trees in Brevard County, marking the northernmost penetration of the disease.

The bacteria cause unsightly brown blemishes on fruit and can cause it to drop prematurely from trees; they do not harm humans.

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