India suspends Chinese fruit imports after failed pesticide test
By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, May 18: India has temporally banned imports of Chinese fruits owing to the presence of harmful pests found after repeated test.
After repeatedly finding quarantine pests in the incoming shipments of apples, pears and tagetes (marigold flower) seeds from China, India has placed a temporal ban on its imports, reports The Economic Times.
This is the first case of Indian authorities banning farm products from China. Apple and pears alone account for almost 90% of the India’s fruit and vegetable imports from China.
“We repeatedly found quarantine pests in apples, pears and tagetes (marigold flower) seeds coming from China. Hence, we have temporarily suspended their imports,” the report quoted an anonymous official as saying.
As China’s largest apple importer, India has imported apples and pears worth $132 million from China from April 2016 till February this year, up 200% from the corresponding period a year ago.
When questioned about the pests, China has claimed that the intercepted quarantine pests might have entered during packaging and circulation, the report added citing the same official.
China has paid little heed to India’s complain and it has now forced India to seek additional information on the three farm products of concern. In addition to the temporary suspension of the three farm products import from China, India prohibits importing Chinese milk, chocolate and dairy products.