This interesting article comes straight from Australia’s Biosecurity team:
People are often surprised by the amount of food we seize from passengers arriving in Australia.
The most common risk foods we seize at international airports are apples and pears, and you wouldn’t believe how much we get.
It 2015, we seized 6.7 tonnes of apples and pears alone. That’s about 33,500 pieces of fruit…
Apples are delicious and nutritious but can be unknowingly malicious. Plant diseases affecting apples and pears like “fire blight” could scorch our orchards and harm our farmers. Not to mention bugs and slugs that might be in backyard fruit overseas!
It’s estimated that the cost of fire blight control and tree losses in the US is more than US$100 million each year. There have also been a number of quite severe outbreaks of fire blight in Michigan, Washington and Oregon with losses reported to be over US$110 million for those three instances alone. We absolutely do not want those issues in Australia.
And while you might think ‘my apple looks fine’ or ‘it doesn’t matter if I eat it real quick’—think again, because some plant diseases are in the seeds or core, which generally gets discarded.
Obviously, we know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it doesn’t work for biosecurity officers. 33,500 apples is too many for us anyway…
You’ll just have to buy one when you get here, or risk getting a fine.
Source credit: Australia Biosecurity