Low calorie nuts death link to swollen lug nut infection

A deadly fungus that has ravaged the US’s fruit and vegetable industry has spread to Australia.

The fungus, the Lachnospiraceae, has killed more than 30,000 apple and nut growers in just over a year.

Its infection has killed at least 3,000 people in the US and is also spreading to Australia and New Zealand.

Australia’s Food and Agriculture Minister Scott Morrison has ordered a halt to imports of fruit and nut products made from the L. thuringiensis fungus and has asked the federal government to help protect farmers from the disease.

Mr Morrison says the fungus has infected the Australian fruit and vegetables industry, with hundreds of growers in the country affected by the outbreak.

He says Australia is committed to protecting the environment and the health of the population, and has requested that the US government provide assistance.

“We have an urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of our Australian consumers, and to ensure the food we buy is safe to eat,” Mr Morrison said.

In the US, a coronavirus scare has put a strain on imports, with prices of fruit, nuts and dried fruit soaring.

But there is hope for Australian growers, with the Federal Government announcing on Thursday it would help growers in Australia through its Fresh Markets Guarantee program.

It will help growers with $20 million in annual payments for fruit and nuts, and other fruits and vegetables, which it will use to help growers.

Earlier this week, the US Agriculture Department announced that it would provide $25 million to help with the costs of the disease, which has also affected the Australian market.

US imports of US-grown fruit and veg jumped more than 90 per cent in April to $2.5 billion, while imports of Australian-grown fruits and vegs surged more than 50 per cent to $1.9 billion.