A controversy over Israeli fruit exported to Iran in defiance of the trade embargo between the two countries took a new twist when it was revealed that the fruit was actually of Chinese origin, BBC reported. The original discovery of the fruit, an orange-grapefruit hybrid called “Jaffa Sweetie,” in Iranian markets caused a stir, leading one Iranian official to accuse Israel of a “citrus conspiracy” to infiltrate Iranian fruit markets. However, it appears that the popularity of the fruit, which Israel exports to markets in Japan and South Korea, attracted the interest of Chinese product counterfeiters, who slapped forged labels on Chinese fruit and sold them to Iranian importers; while the labels on the fruit say “Israel,” the packing boxes advertise Chinese origin. Tal Amit, the general manager of Israel’s Citrus Marketing Board, said he was annoyed that a Chinese firm was forging the brand. “I would like very much the Iranian people to eat Israeli fruit straight from the origin and not via China,” he said.
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