'Sterile' Medflies blamed for California infestation
Los Gatos, Calif. — California's top Mediterranean fruit fly fighter blamed a shipment of "defective" Peruvian flies for the state's infestation. The shipment was supposed to have wiped out the pest during the breeding cycle.
Jerry Scribner, head of the Medfly eradication project, said there is no doubt that the Peruvian flies were the main cause of the rapid spread of the pest. Blaming "human error," he said that one canister shipped from Peru, containing over 50,000 flies, had not been irradiated to make the pests sterile before they were released.