China intercepts U.S. apples

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China intercepts U.S. apples

China is to strengthen inspection and quarantine measures for U.S. apple imports after customs officials recently blocked the entry of shipments, citing phytosanitary issues.

China's General Administration of Customs said in a May 7 statement that it had detected the rot-causing pathogens Neofabraea perennans, Phacidiopycnis washingtonensis and Sphaeropsis pyriputrescens.

It also said it had found pests among the shipments - Ips grandicollis, Curculionidae, and Cerambycinae, which are all species of beetle.

The statement said that these pests and diseases posed a serious risk to China's agricultural industry, and as a result it said that it had issued an alert notification to strengthen import checks for U.S. apples.

It did not provide additional details on the size of the shipments in question or when they were intercepted.

The development comes just a few days after it was reported that China was ramping up checks on all U.S. fruit imports, amid high trade tensions between the two countries.

News agency Reuters reported that its sources had said authorities were now inspecting every shipment of U.S. fruit, whereas before they had only checked around 30%.

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