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China destroys 35 tons of Philippine bananas

Customs authorities at the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen destroyed 34.78 tons of "substandard bananas" imported from the Philippines due to excessive pesticide use, state TV said on Saturday.

The bananas, worth $33,000, were mashed and buried on Friday, state broadcaster CCTV reported, showing footage of digger mashing the fruit and moving them into a pit for landfill.

CCTV said the sampling test indicated that the carbendazim contained in these bananas exceeded China's standard limits for pesticide residue in food.

China would inform the Philippines of the incident and urge the country to take measures to ensure the quality and safety of the exported bananas to China, CCTV said.

China is the Philippines' fourth-biggest export market after Japan, the United States and Hong Kong. Tensions between the two countries were rising amid the South China Sea dispute.

The Philippines has brought against China over its South China Sea claims in the International Court of Arbitration in the Hague, and a ruling is expected in the next few months.

In March 2012, China stopped a shipment of Philippine bananas, a month before the sea spat on the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal erupted, after it found pests.

Since then it has imposed stringent quarantine rules on other fruit from the Philippines. — Reuters