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Subject: Black widow spiders halt New Zealand imports of U.S. grapes
Date posted: November 13, 2001
Source: Reuters
New Zealand suspended imports Tuesday (11/06) of California table grapes after a black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans) was discovered at a supermarket, the fourth found in U.S. shipments this year. New Zealand imports around 10 million bunches of California table grapes each year. While the number of spiders found was within the range of existing standards, environmentalist politicians have urged a ban. The suspension would remain in effect, probably for about six months, while a review examines the likelihood of the spiders becoming established in New Zealand.