(May 9) Taiwan suspended imports of Chilean apples after officials there reported finding a live coddling moth in a shipment.

Taiwan enacted the ban May 8. The May 4 moth discovery — unconfirmed by Chilean exporters — will not effect U.S. imports of Chilean fruit.

"We have our own effective programs to protect domestic crops," said Claude Knighten, a spokesman for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Chilean officials are not certain the insect found in the shipment was the apple pest.

“There is no confirmation that the insect was a coddling moth,” said Ronald Bown, president of the Chilean Exporters Association, Santiago.

The Taiwanese and Chilean governments are cooperating in efforts to identify the species of moth found in the shipment, Bown said. Until the moth is identified, he said Chilean phytosanitary authorities have banned the grower and exporter involved in the shipment from exporting produce.

Bown said prices and demand for Chilean apples in Taiwan have been very strong this season.