New Zealand halts apple exports to China after fungus find
WELLINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand has suspended apple exports to China after the discovery of a fungus that causes fruit to rot, government officials said on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) said the fungus, which can rot fruit after harvesting, had been discovered in three consignments of apples sent to China, which regarded it as a threat to plant health in that country.
It said the fungus, which was limited to those shipments, posed no threat to food safety and had been tracked down to a small number of growing and packing sites, which China had asked be suspended from exporting.
"(The New Zealand) Industry has informed us that in response to the rot being detected - and considering this apple export season is almost over - it has voluntarily suspended all apple exports to China for the remainder of the season," the MPI said in a statement.