Ability of governments to take actions to confront incursions of diseases – a case study: citrus canker in Florida


E-mail: tcentner@uga.edu


When governments take actions under their police powers to prevent incursions of diseases, they may damage or destroy private property and a question arises of who should pay for property losses. A court in Florida concluded that the state needed to pay for property destroyed under a citrus canker eradication programme. Because this interpretation of the Florida Constitution’s Just Compensation Clause makes it more difficult to administer a successful eradication programme, governments and scientists, working with industry, may want to develop a more comprehensive accounting of scientific data and procedures that justify an eradication programme’s actions. This paper identifies three problems regarding Florida’s efforts to eradicate citrus canker so that scientists, affected industries, and governments can employ an objective reassessment mechanism to support their actions without legal interference.