If you love starfruit, you may want to consider giving your habit a rest for a while.

A friend emailed me this bit from [PDF] from Wednesday’s Federal Register. Declaring an “emergency,” the EPA has established a “time-limited tolerance” for residues of fludioxonil, a pesticide, on starfruit. According to the EPA, Florida starfruit is being scourged by a fungus that evidently can only be repelled by fludioxonil.

I’m in the process of figuring out exactly how toxic fludioxonil is. In the meantime, I find this interesting:

Consistent with the need to move quickly on the emergency exemption in order to address an urgent non-routine situation and to ensure that the resulting food is safe and lawful, EPA is issuing this tolerance without notice and opportunity for public comment.

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Given the clear and truly egregious way the EPA has been acting in service of industry interests rather than public ones, this news can bring little comfort to the folks who eat starfruit or tend them in Florida’s farm fields.