The Council of Agriculture (COA) announced yesterday that it had detected colding moth in a batch of imported apples from New Zealand for the first time.
Officials from the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said that they found a live colding moth larvae when inspecting a batch of New Zealand apples at Taichung Harbor on Thursday.
The larvae was sent to the Department of Entomology of National Chung Hsing University for examination and was confirmed as colding moth and the 1,029 cartons of Fuji apples from New Zealand failed the quarantine inspection.
Regulations require that the batch of apples be either returned to New Zealand or destroyed.
The government will temporarily suspend imports of New Zealand apples until Wellington looks into reasons for the pest's presence, adopts measures to improve inspections and notifies Taipei that it is now free of colding moth.
Until such steps are taken, its apples will not be allowed to enter Taiwan.
Officials said Taiwan has already notified New Zealand that it must suspend its apple export operations.
They said the bureau will step up inspection and quarantine measures for imported apples.
Taiwan has imported New Zealand apples for more than a decade and this is the first time there has been such a problem.
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