Australian officials warn of needle danger for 6 strawberry brands

It's a crime so unusual that any motive seems almost inconceivable.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is said to have issued the reward over concerns for growers as well as consumers.

ABC News reported on Saturday that wholesale prices have halved to 50 Australian cents per punnet below the cost of production in Western Australia, where strawberries crops are now peaking, with growers forced to dump tonnes of the fruit.

"This is putting families' lives at risk and it's also putting the strawberry industry at risk", she said.

Reports out of three Aussie states have strawberry lovers checking their fresh fruit carefully.

The Queensland Government has put out a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the culprit behind the contamination of the strawberries.

A Coles supermarket in the suburb of Engadine has been forced to remove all strawberries from sale after a punnet was found to be contaminated with needles, NSW police have confirmed.

ABC reported that as consumers have shied away from purchasing the fruit over fears it will be contaminated with needles, farmers have ended up throwing out mass quantities of the strawberries they can't sell.

Prices for strawberries dropped to unbelievable lows in the lead-up to the decision by Coles and Aldi.

"We've got to look at this as a whole, it's a very, very broad picture and we can't speculate in any way, shape or form", Queensland Acting Chief Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters on Friday.

'This is food terrorism that is bringing an industry to its knees, ' Strawberries Australia Inc Queensland spokesman Ray Daniels said.

In a follow-up statement released on Facebook Thursday, the group said the strawberries were seemingly "interfered with between the time they were packed and the time they were purchased".

"How could any right-minded person want to put a baby or a child or anybody's health at risk by doing such a awful act?" she asked.

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