Customs in Shenzhen, China destroyed 35 tons of “substandard bananas” imported from the Philippines because of too much pesticide use.
State broadcaster CCTV reported that customs mashed and buried bananas worth USD33,000 (PHP1.5 million) on March 25. The channel showed footage of a digger mashing the fruits and moving them into a pit for landfill.
CCTV said the customs’ sampling test indicated that the carbendazim contained in the bananas exceeded China’s standard limits for pesticide residue in food. China would inform the Philippines of the incident and advise the country to ensure the quality and safety of the exported bananas to China.
China is the Philippines’ fourth-biggest export market—the first being Japan, the United States, then Hong Kong. Tensions between the two countries have been rising following the South China Sea dispute.
The Philippines has brought a case against China over its South China Sea claims in the International Court of Arbitration in the Hague. A ruling is expected in the next few months.
In 2012, China also stopped a shipment of Philippine bananas after it was discovered to have pests. The country has since then been strict on quarantine in fruits from the Philippines.