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Israel seizes 800 kg of smuggled tomatoes with bites from Turkey

The smuggling of agricultural products, and in particular of sting tomatoes, is a crime and can cause real damage to local agriculture by the pests and diseases contained in the products.


Turkish tomatoes with bites, seized in Israel.

Following information received by the Central Execution and Investigations Unit of the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the Plant Council, inspectors discovered an attempt to sell about 100 boxes, with about 800 kilograms of tomatoes smuggled from Turkey to Israel with bites. The wholesaler suspected of the act sold part of the product to a wholesaler in the Rehovot market and stored the other part in its warehouse, in the city of Ashdod. Furthermore, it appears that the suspect intended to mislead consumers interested in consuming local products and differentiate between imported and local products by the presence of the bite on local tomatoes, in view of the real danger to local agriculture. All the tomatoes were destroyed and legal proceedings were initiated against the suspect.

In general, according to the Israeli Plant Protection Law, the purpose of which is to prevent the penetration and spread of injuries, there is a ban on importing plant products into Israel without a permit. Violation of this law is a crime. The Ministry of Agriculture reiterates that the introduction of plant products, including fruits and vegetables, could lead to the entry of insects and plant diseases that do not exist in Israel, which can damage local crops, cause irreversible damage and destroy entire agricultural industries. Furthermore, the importation of tomatoes into Israel under license does not allow the introduction of tomatoes that include pitting, since even in this part of the tomato there may be pests and diseases.

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