New Zealand tomato exports to six countries have been stopped, after a disease was discovered on crops. Pepino mosaci virus or PepMV – can affect the yield of plants and delay fruit growth – was found in an Auckland greenhouse in April and  has now spread to three other commercial sites. MPI has notified countries that consider PepMV a quarantine risk such as Australia, Japan, Thailand, Fiji, Tonga, and New Caledonia. The virus, which is found in China, Europe and the Americas, is highly contagious can cause mottling of the fruit on mature plants. Tomatoes NZ CEO Helen Barnes says it is unlikely the disease can be eradicated, because it has already infected several sites. She says while the disease affects production, it does not present any food safety concern or risk to people… so New Zealand grown tomatoes are still perfectly safe to eat.