Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Ryegrass Risks Tackled

20 May 2005 PR 075/05

Ryegrass Risks Tackled

The Grains Council is moving quickly to minimise the risk of herbicide-resistant ryegrass arriving in New Zealand, said council chairman Hugh Ritchie.

Mr Ritchie's comments follow the discovery that a Roundup-resistant strain of ryegrass common in Australia is not on the New Zealand list of regulated weed seeds. News that the seeds are not restricted is at odds with advice provided to the Grains Council by MAF Biosecurity, now Biosecurity New Zealand, in 2003.

“Back then the council asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to restrict entry of this grass by classifying it as a regulated weed seed. At that time MAF assured us by official letter* that it was added to the restricted list.

“But, with some surprise and disappointment, we learned recently that MAF did not add the weed to the list. The Grains Council was never officially notified of this. It appears there was a breakdown in communications.”

The weed seeds are at risk of entering New Zealand as a contaminant in imported grain used for processing into animal feed, flour, and other products.

"As a first step, the council wants to obtain more information on the risk imposed by the weed, called lolium rigidum.

“The Grains Council has formally requested that Biosecurity New Zealand assesses the risk by undertaking a 'grow-out' test of weed seeds in imported grain processed into finished products. The grow-out will allow us to better understand the actual risks imposed by this import pathway,” said Mr Ritchie.

A grow-out test involves trying to germinate the weed seeds from the finished product or byproducts of the imported wheat.

“The Grains Council does not want to see this weed become established in New Zealand and will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the risk is as close to zero as possible.”

The Grains Council is the grains industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

* Excerpt from the letter dated August 27, 2003: "In this regard, MAF advised AFFA (Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia) that all L. rigidum seeds from Australia will now be regarded as regulated (prohibited) seeds and MAF will immediately modify the import health standards…to reflect the change in status."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

 

BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>

ALSO:

Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>

ALSO:

State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages