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Russian watchdog finds moth in batch of tomatoes from Turkmenistan

On April 22, 2023, the Moscow Regional Office of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) discovered a quarantine object, the South American tomato moth (Tuta absoluta (Povolny)), during quarantine phytosanitary control of a shipment of fresh tomatoes weighing 9 tons from Turkmenistan at the phytosanitary control post of the LLC "FOOD LOGISTICS."

According to the Rosselkhoznadzor, the presence of the quarantine object in viable condition was confirmed by laboratory examination conducted by specialists of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "All-Russian Center for Plant Quarantine" (FSBI "VNIIKR") subordinate to Rosselkhoznadzor.

The cargo owner was notified of the measures taken in relation to the contaminated sub-quarantine product. The owner decided to destroy it.

In accordance with the phytosanitary legislation of the Russian Federation, the infected tomatoes were destroyed under the control of Rosselkhoznadzor specialists at the decision of the owner.

"The South American tomato moth is a dangerous quarantine pest that damages and destroys tomato crops in open and closed ground, causing significant economic damage. Its main feed plant is the tomato, but it can also damage potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and weeds of the nightshade family", they say. "The harmful stage is the caterpillar. The pest develops on all aboveground parts of the tomato plant, damaging them. At temperatures of 25-30°C, the South American tomato moth can give up to 10-12 generations per year. The species has a high biological potential: the fertility of females reaches 250-300 eggs. The South American tomato moth harms tomato crops throughout the growing cycle, reducing the yield of the crop by 80-100%."

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