New Jersey lawmakers on Tuesday filed a bill to ban the sale of all grapefruit, saying the fruit is toxic and contains high levels of pesticides.
The measure also would require all retail sales of the fruit, which is grown in New York, to include a warning label.
The bill was introduced by state Sen. Michael Delaney, D-Jersey City, and Assemblyman Dan McNeil, D of Long Branch, the top Democrat on the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
The state already has laws against selling the fruit at home.
In 2016, the New York State Senate passed a similar measure to ban sales.
Last year, the Senate also passed a bill banning all sales of grapefruits and grapes in New Brunswick, New York.
The New Jersey bill would require that all grapefruit sales be made by mail, at a warehouse or by a licensed retailer.
Delaney said the state has more than 100 licensed retail grapefarms, and he said a similar ban would require New Jersey to “do something about” these growers.
“Grapefruit is the single most polluting food crop on Earth,” he said.
“Grapefruits are one of the most toxic foods in the United States.
The American people need to be told that it is absolutely safe to consume.
We cannot allow a toxic product like grapefruit to be sold in our state.”
Delaney’s legislation is a response to the recent spike in grapefarming in New Hampshire, where a large amount of grapes were planted in the state and imported into New Jersey.
Delsey said the ban would help New Jersey “put the farmers and the farmers’ families back to work.”
The Garden State has more grapefarmed vineyards than any other state, and Delaney says he hopes the legislation will lead to more farmers coming back to the Garden State.
“We will not allow this toxic product to be a problem for New Jersey,” he told reporters.
The Garden state’s grapefruit ban would take effect Jan. 1, 2018.
For more New Jersey news, visit The Hill.