Australia rejects NZ apple lot

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Australia rejects NZ apple lot

A Biosecurity Australia draft recommendation in May reported New Zealand's export standards were sufficient to prevent the entry of new diseases with apple shipments, sparking outrage in the industry over the potential risks that could entail. When the final decision was made to allow the fruit entry this month, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) said Australian authorities would need to audit the fruitbefore entry. Now, Australian media have reported that a parasite was found among the first lots.

Australian authorities have rejected one consignment of New Zealand apples after small leaf matter and a potentially disease-carrying insect were found, newspaper The Age reported.

The story reported the news of the apple leaf midge sighting had 'enraged' the industry, as its spread in Australia could have seriously damaged the industry.

"It is disturbing that the apple leaf curling midge was found four to five months after the fruit was harvested," Apple and Pear Australia chairman John Lawrenson was quoted as saying.

"This indicates the high level of infestations in New Zealand orchards and that the midge is a long-living insect."

"It is well known that trash [leaf matter] is a carrier of the fire blight bacteria and any consignment that contains trash should be rejected."

Photo: Season Harvest

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