Five more cases of infectious tomato disease found in Westland region

Dutch fruit and veg farmers rely on cheap labour from abroad. Photo:
Dutch fruit and veg are an important export product. Photo:

Five new cases of a highly contagious tomato plant virus have been confirmed in the Westland region.

Health inspectors did not give the exact locations of the latest outbreaks of Tomato Brown Rugose Fruit Virus, which follow the announcement of the first case in the Netherlands last week.

The virus is not harmful to humans but growers who find it in their plants have to destroy their entire crop to prevent the virus spreading.

As of Monday cultivators who fail to report the virus to the food standards agency NVWA risk a fine, as the industry tries to confine the outbreak to the Westland area.

‘It’s a disaster for growers,’ Sjaak van der Tak of hothouse growers’ association Glastuinbouw Nederland told Omroep West. ‘Their tomatoes can no longer be sold in supermarkets.’

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