NEW ZEALAND: More Mango weevil cases come to light

The Ministry of Primary Industries has confirmed that more cases of foreign insect pests in imported mangoes since a 10-year-old girl’s discovery came to light.


Hannah Trow and her mum were shocked last week to find what is believed to be a seed weevil living in a mango they bought from a store in Marton, 40km north of Palmerston North.


The find raised biosecurity concerns, with Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Peter Silcock saying mangoes are a potential host for fruit flies.


More people have come forward with similar complaints since ONE News aired the story last night, with MPI confirming at least two more notifications from Kiwis.


Blenheim resident Max Yovich this morning claimed his wife found small black bugs inside a mango she bought on the weekend. He has photo evidence of the find.


However, the Ministry says it receives a dozen calls regarding Australian mango seed weevils each year and remains confident in its biosecurity measures for stopping fruit fly outbreaks.


The mango Hannah found the weevil in would have been irradiated by Australian authorities before entering the country, it says.


“The finding of a different insect is not a reason to have concerns regarding fruit fly. After irradiation, adult weevils can survive but would be sterile.”


Seed weevils are no threat to New Zealand, as they are specific to mangoes, which aren’t grown locally, MPI says.


“These insects require mangoes to complete their life cycle, and with no mango crops here, they could not establish in New Zealand.”


MPI applauded Hannah for trying to tell the agency about her find and says it has been in contact with her.


Source: TVNZ

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