Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Awful Apples and a Non-Changing China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on June 19, 2012


Here is an edict from the King of Asia….

All rise for the King

http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nsp/National/2012/06/17/Pesticide%2Bwrapping%2Bfears%2Bhit%2Bapple%2Bexports/

SOME apple exports from a Chinese production center have been suspended following reports alleging growers wrap fruit in pesticide-coated paper.

Japanese clients have held back from importing apples, including canned varieties, from Yantai in eastern China’s Shandong Province, Liang Chuansong, head of the city’s agricultural bureau said yesterday.

And Indonesia has asked to test samples, threatening to suspend imports if this is not done, according to Liang.

Meanwhile, sales of Yantai apples in the country’s southern regions have slipped 20 percent, leading to 300,000 tonnes of fruit piling up, despite this being the traditional peak selling season.

Yantai’s two leading apple production bases, the county-level cities of Qixia and Zhaoyuan, have a combined annual output of at least 600 million kilograms of the fruit. Produce is sold nationwide and exported to many foreign countries.

On Monday, Beijing News reported that farmers have been adding “banned” chemicals, including Tuzet and arsenical fungicide, to wrapping for young apples, to keep the fruit looking good.

However, Shu Huairui, a fruit tree expert from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said these two chemicals are approved for use on fruit by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).

In the past, farmers sprayed the two pesticides on trees, and as long as they stopped two months before harvesting, the apples were safe to eat, Shu said.

But the MOA has yet to give permission for the pesticides to be used in wrapping, so technically farmers should not use pesticide-coated wrapping, Shu added.

The local government insists that Yantai’s apples are safe, saying few orchards used pesticide-coated packing materials and that they have clamped down on the practice.

A total of 2.2 million pesticide-dosed wrappings have been confiscated in Qixia since March, according to Chen Zhaokuan, mayor of Qixia City.

Liang said Yantai University checked pesticide residue on fruit wrapped with the chemicals in the city in 2011, and levels did not exceed national standards.

“The apples also passed the MOA’s quality checks in 2010 and 2011. We exported 217,000 tonnes of apples last year and 56,000 tonnes in the first five months of this year. Not a single quality dispute was reported,” said Liang.

The local government is currently sending samples to institutions in other provinces for testing. It has also invited testing organizations in cities including Shanghai to check apples on sale locally.

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