US bans Spanish peppers

The dreaded medfly, also known as the Mediterranean fruit fly

By Richard Torné

The United States agriculture department has banned the import of Spanish peppers in response to an outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly.

The pest, also known as medfly, is native to the Mediterranean but has extended to other parts of the world, mostly Africa and South America.

The ban came into effect on December 30 after the insect was detected in shipments from at least three Almería-based producers, according to reports.

The ban, announced by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States (APHIS), will run until the end of the year and include non-commercial cargo.

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