(Feb. 15) Three fruit flies found in suburban Santiago, Chile, could affect shipments of fruit to the U.S.

On Feb. 13, U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended inspections of fruit in the area in which the flies were found, near the Santiago airport, said Maru Braemer, logistics manager of Sun Belle Inc., Washington, D.C.

As of late Feb. 14, shipments had not been affected, as shippers were finding other places to have product inspected, Braemer said.

She said the company would learn more the week of Feb. 18 whether supplies would be affected.

Jonathan Bass, president of Dole Chile SA, Santiago, said that if the quarantine area doesn’t spread, it shouldn't cause much of a problem.

“As far as the fruit exports being affected, it normally causes some logistical problems in moving fruit around the quarantine area, but not usually serious,” Bass said. “We'll have to wait to see what happens.”