Nothing about the proposed lifting of this [no apples from China] regulation is good for American fruit growers or consumers. Aside from reducing the already meager profit margins of the fruit farmer by the addition of a new (HUGE) apple supplier, the importation of Chinese apples opens up the possibility of introducing foreign pest and disease, which can affect many more fruits than just apples and make growing organic even more difficult. Also, the way these apples are grown in China is not regulated. Many Chinese apple orchards are located on sites with detectable arsenic in the groundwater and the long-outlawed arsenic-based pesticide spray is still in use there, leading to the discovery of arsenic levels in some samples of Chinese apple juice exceeding federal US drinking-water standards.
Taken from regulations.gov: “The regulations in “Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables” (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-68, referred to below as the regulations) prohibit or restrict the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent the introduction and dissemination of plant pests that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States.
The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of China has requested that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) amend the regulations to allow apples (Malus pumila) from China to be imported into the continental United States.