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Over 2,300 kg of tainted U.S. cherries seized at border

05/21/2024 06:13 PM
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The Ministry of Health and Welfare. CNA file photo
The Ministry of Health and Welfare. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Three shipments of red cherries imported from the United States have been rejected at Taiwan's border for containing the banned substance mefentrifluconazole, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) reported Tuesday.

The three batches of U.S. red cherries, totaling 2,340 kg, were seized after being found to contain mefentrifluconazole -- a conazole fungicide permitted for use in pears and apples but not cherries -- at a rate ranging from 0.05-0.17 ppm, according to the latest weekly TDFA report.

TFDA Deputy Director-General Lin Chin-fu (林金富) said it is the first case this year of substandard cherries from the U.S. being identified.

Given the case, the TFDA will now conduct shipment-by-shipment inspections on all cherries imported by the three companies. The random inspection rate on imported fresh cherries from the U.S. had already been raised to 20-50 percent between April 1-Sept. 30, Lin said.

The problematic U.S. red cherries were among the 46 shipments of U.S. cherries that were checked at Taiwan's border between Nov. 13 and May 13, TFDA data showed.

In addition to the cherries, another 14 products, including powdered tea from India and sage from Turkey were also rejected.

All substandard products will be destroyed or returned to their country of origin, the agency said.

(By Flor Wang and Shen Pei-yao)

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