Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Greens Call For Ban On Imported California Grapes

Greens Call For Immediate Ban On Imported Californian Grapes

Green Party Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today called on the Government to ban the import of Californian grape products as vineyards in California continue to be devastated by Pierce's Disease.

Pierce's disease is caused by the Xylella Fastidiosa bacterium which is spread by a small cicada-like insect called the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter. The disease is especially lethal to grape vines, choking off water and nutrient supplies causing death.

"Viticulture in New Zealand is booming and contributes millions and millions of dollars to our national economy. Regions like Marlborough, Gisborne and the Hawkes Bay are investing heavily in viticulture and the industry is becoming increasingly crucial not only for the regions but for New Zealand's entire economy," said Mr Ewen-Street.

The Glassy Winged Sharpshooter lays its eggs on the leaves and stems of grape vines and, while New Zealand biosecurity claims to have all leaves removed from grapes before they enter the country, Mr Ewen-Street said any risk is too great.

"We have so much to lose and so little to gain," he said. "All it would potentially take to devastate the viticulture industry in New Zealand is for just one egg mass to make its way into this country. Why take the risk?"

Mr Ewen-Street said it was crazy that in his home town of Blenheim - a region surrounded by a huge number of vineyards - people could still buy imported Californian grapes from supermarkets.

"If banning the import of these grapes due to the very real risk they pose to this country's economy is in breach of the World Trade Organisation then we need to question the wisdom of remaining in this organisation," he said.

"Pierce's disease can also affect avocado and stonefruit orchards and if this disease ever arrived here we could see some of our key industries damaged on a scale similar to that seen in the UK with the outbreak of BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease," he said.

"Far from being alarmist this is a very real possibility while we continue to import Californian grape products. We call on the Government to be proactive and give our thriving viticulture industry the protection it deserves."

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 025 902 527

Attached is an information fact sheet on the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter

Quick Facts About Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter and Pierce's Disease Scientific name of GWSS: Homalodisca coagulata Description of GWSS: Adults are 1/2-inch long, dark brown color with small yellow dots on head and thorax. Wings membranous, translucent, with reddish veins. How damage is caused: GWSS is a sucking insect that extracts fluid from host plants. This feeding can spread lethal diseases to host plants just as mosquitoes can transmit malaria in humans. The pest is highly mobile and can feed and spread disease to many plants in a day. Bacterium spread by GWSS: Xylella fastidiosa Diseases* vectored by GWSS (strains of Xylella fastidiosa): Pierce's disease (grapes) Leaf scorch (almonds) Alfalfa dwarf (alfalfa) Oleander scorch (oleander) Phony peach disease (peaches) Plum leaf scald (plums) Citrus variegated chlorosis (citrus) How disease kills plants: The bacterium attacks a plant's xylem, or water-conducting tissues, and eventually chokes off water and nutrient supplies. Infected plants lose their vigor and gradually die. How long Pierce's disease has been in state : Periodically since at least the 1880s when it wiped out 40,000 acres of winegrapes in the Los Angeles Basin GWSS host plants: 100 species of plants GWSS first sighted in California: 1989 Distribution : Southern United States and northern Mexico. Range has extended into southern and central California Number of counties with GWSS infested areas (2000): 13: Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Tulare, Ventura Threat to state: $14 billion in crops, jobs, residential plants and trees, native plants, trees and habitat

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news