It's a crime so unusual that any motive seems almost inconceivable.
In recent days, a number of people in Australia have opened boxes of strawberries they purchased at supermarkets, only to find that the fruit has small sewing needles or pins stuck inside.
Australians have also been warned to cut strawberries before eating them.
A fresh report of a contamination in Townsville is being investigated, Queensland police said, following instances elsewhere in the state.
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Farmers are pleading with consumers no to let this act of "food terrorism" damage the industry, and have urged people to continue buying berries and cut them up before eating as a precaution.
One of the cases involved a man who had eaten a strawberry with a needle inside.
A $100,000 reward has been offered for information on the Queensland strawberry saboteur amid fears six brands across four states have been targeted with needle insertion. "It is simply unacceptable, I am furious about this".
NSW Police and Queensland Police are investigating whether the latest needles found in strawberries are the work of a copycat, or related to the original incidents.
"Whereas we would normally be selling 30 tonnes a day of locally grown strawberries to WA markets, it has dropped to 20 tonnes". You've got more chance of winning lotto than being affected'.
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Certain brands have been removed from sale.
Jennifer Rowling of the Queensland Strawberry Growers' Association said she believed the strawberries had been "interfered with".
"How could any right-minded person want to put a baby or a child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a terrible act?" she asked.
This is a $160-million industry to Queensland... and someone is trying to sabotage the industry but also in doing that, they are putting babies' and children's and families' lives at risk.
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