Archive for the ‘bugs’ Category

China food safety: tangerine sales go pear-shaped as rumors fly

October 28, 2008

China, trying to convince the world its food is safe, has now been hit by fruit fly rumors which have cost farmers millions of dollars in lost sales.

Tangerines, usually wildly popular at this time of year, are selling for less than 1 yuan (about 15 U.S. cents) a kg in Beijing and shoppers are still reluctant to buy while 1.6 million tonnes of unwanted fruit sit waiting for delivery trucks in the central province of Hubei.

“The scare has caused direct economic losses of 400 million yuan ($57 million) so far and the figure is expected to rise if the crisis does not end in a week,” the China Daily quoted Chen Zhiqiang, a press official in Changde, a major producing area in southern Hunan province, as saying.

Li Chuanyou, secretary-general of the fruit industry association in Hubei, said about 70 percent of the harvest had not been sold.

“If the situation persists, Hubei farmers may suffer a loss of up to 1.5 billion yuan,” he said.

The panic was caused by rumors in the southwestern province of Sichuan last week that 10,000 tonnes of tangerines had to be destroyed because of fruit flies.

Sichuan denied the reports, saying only 12 tonnes were destroyed and that the situation was under control.

“I know the tangerines sold in Beijing have not been infected, but I still feel a bit uneasy,” the China Daily quoted a shopper as saying.

China is at pains to convince the world its food is safe after a series of health scares, the most recent involving tainted milk.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Nick Macfie at Reuters)

Vietnam rice troubles could affect region

March 20, 2008
by Cecil Morella 

LOS BANOS, Philippines (AFP) – Vietnam‘s farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world’s leading rice experts.

A vendor puts rice into a bag for sale at a rice market in Ho ...
A vendor puts rice into a bag for sale at a rice market in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world’s leading rice experts.
(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Hanoi and the world scientific community have yet to find a way to prevent another crop failure following a virus attack on rice crops last year, said Robert Zeigler, head of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Vietnam is the fifth-largest rice producer and number three exporter in the world, and last year’s troubles hit some of the best rice-growing areas, Zeigler told AFP in an interview at the Institute, just south of Manila.

“The fact is, they got taken by surprise and they had some significant yield losses that they were just not….

An elderly woman sits sorting rice at a rice market in Ho Chi ...
An elderly woman sits sorting rice at a rice market in Ho Chi Minh city on March 6. Vietnam’s farm sector is reeling from outbreaks of pests and disease that could threaten its neighbours including China, according to one of the world’s leading rice experts.(AFP/File/Hoang Dinh Nam)

Read the rest:
 http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080320/wl_asia_afp/foodcommodityricevietnam
chinapest_080320061706

Related:
Inflation and Food Shortages?