NEW ZEALAND BAN ON COOKED BREADFRUIT HITS ISLAND TRAVELERS

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (April 1, 2002 - Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---Pacific Islanders traveling to New Zealand should not carry cooked breadfruit with them, the New Zealand Agriculture Ministry has advised.

Fiji’s head quarantine officer, Aisea Waqa, said the ban was declared after fruit fly larvae were found in cooked breadfruit carried by Pacific Islands passengers flying into Auckland.

Mr. Waqa said Fiji's growing exports of breadfruit would continue, however, with treatments that make certain the product does not harbor any pests.

The New Zealand Agriculture Ministry noted that in the past 12 months passengers traveling into New Zealand were intercepted 25 times with fruit fly eggs detected on cooked breadfruit.

Mr. Waqa said their New Zealand counterparts thoroughly check all products being taken in by passengers.

If undeclared goods are detected passengers face a spot fine.

Fiji breadfruit exports to New Zealand started last October.

High temperature forced air treatment removes all traces of fruit flies and other pests before export.

Other Fiji exports to New Zealand that undergo the same treatment include mangoes, eggplants and paw paws (papayas).

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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