Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Council halts Chilean apple imports after moth larva appears

SECOND CASE Chile became the second apple exporter to be banned in Taiwan after New Zealand, whose apple exports were suspended last month

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA, TAIPEI

A man inspects apples at a supermarket yesterday. The Council of Agriculture announced yesterday that it had suspended apple imports from Chile following the discovery of a codling moth larva in a shipment at Keelung Harbor.

PHOTO: CNA

Taiwan has told the Chilean government to stop exporting apples to the country after quarantine inspectors discovered a codling moth larva in a sampling of Chilean Gala apples in Keelung, Council of Agriculture officials said yesterday.

Chile is the second apple exporter to be banned from shipping the fruit into the country this year after New Zealand, whose Fuji apple exports were suspended on April 12 after a codling moth larva was found in a shipment at Tai-chung harbor, the council's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine said.

A total of 4,992 cases of Gala apples from Chile failed to pass quarantine inspection last week, the bureau said, adding that the shipment would either be returned or destroyed according to law.

The suspension will last until the Chilean government looks into the reasons for the pest's presence, adopts measures to improve inspections and notifies Taiwan that its exports are free of codling moths, bureau officials said.

Statistics provided by the council showed that Chilean apples accounted for one-third of the apples imported last year, making Chile the nation's second-largest source of apples.

The codling moth lays eggs on apples and the larvae feed on the fruit, burrowing into the fruit before leaving to pass the winter and pupate elsewhere.

If the moth adapts to Taiwan's climate, it could attack apples, pears and peaches, causing great damage, council officials said.

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