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Honey, there's no love in that decision

12 July 2006

Honey, there's no love in that decision

New Zealand's struggling bee industry should rightly feel betrayed by the Labour Government after a decision to allow Australian honey, potentially carrying a bee disease, into the country, the Green Party says.

Greens' Agriculture Spokesperson Sue Bradford says she was appalled by the decision to allow the import of honey that may be contaminated with European Foulbrood.

"Jim Anderton, the Biosecurity Minister, has described the risk as 'negligible', however the Bee Industry Group has raised concerns that the science the Government has based its decision on is wrong.

"If there is any risk that this disease could make its way into this country we should be keeping our borders firmly closed.

"The risk to our bee industry is too great - just look at what happened with the Varroa Bee Mite. Not only were beehives and honey production affected, so was our bee export industry. Once nasty invaders like these get into the country there is very little that can be done to get rid of them.

"It seems to me that the Government is willing to sacrifice this already struggling industry in the name of 'international trade obligations'. That is just not good enough," Ms Bradford says.


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