Financial aid to Australian strawberry growers after needle sabotage

Financial aid to Australian strawberry growers after needle sabotage

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Financial aid to Australian strawberry growers after needle sabotage
Canberra, Sep 18 (IANS) Australian authorities on Tuesday announced financial aid to strawberry growers after an act of sabotage by unknown entities who inserted sewing needles into some of the fruits.
"My government is committing A$1 million (US $719,800) to help strawberry growers and the industry to stay on their feet in addition to A$100,000 reward leading to an arrest. The community has to come together to find who is responsible for this crime," said the Premier of Queensland state Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"The sabotage of our strawberry industry is not just an attack on hard-working growers and workers, but it reaches into almost every home and school lunch box," Palaszczuk added.
Strawberry farmers produce about 60 million baskets of the fruit each year generating around AS$160 million, Efe news reported.
The needles were detected on September 13 in a basket sold in Queensland and other cases were progressively reported almost everywhere in the country prompting authorities to urge consumers to cut the fruit into small pieces.
Health Minister Greg Hunt ordered an investigation into the case while in New Zealand this week the withdrawal of the sale of Australian strawberries in the country was announced as a preventive measure.
Authorities also suspect that several people, including some with alleged mental health issues, have attempted to copy this act of sabotage by inserting needles into strawberries, bananas and apples.
--IANS
ksk/bg

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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