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Fruit fly find an example of biosecurity breakdown

Shane Ardern MP
National Party Biosecurity Spokesman
14 September 2006

Fruit fly find an example of biosecurity breakdown

The discovery of fruit fly eggs in Australian rock melon released for sale in our supermarkets is yet another example of the breakdown in biosecurity systems, says National Biosecurity spokesman Shane Ardern.

“Biosecurity NZ assured beekeepers the import health standards on Australian honey were robust enough to allay fears about European Foulbrood disease,” says Mr Ardern.

“Yet rock melons containing a potentially disastrous fruit fly material passed through the same import health standards.

“Despite criticism from the Auditor-General about import standards and container checks, nothing has changed. The fact that insects were discovered should have meant that the fruit was not released into New Zealand’s environment.

“Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton should be calling for an immediate investigation into how this occurred.

“It is ironic that Australia has refused to import New Zealand apples on the scientifically spurious grounds that they might have fireblight, yet their imports are posing a major threat to this country that could cost millions of dollars.

“Mr Anderton must step up and take responsibility for the increasing number of blunders around our biosecurity.”

ENDS

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