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Disease claims in Palm extract without foundation

Wednesday 25 May 2005

Disease claims in Palm Kernel extract without foundation.

Claims that palm kernel extract imports are a risk for the importation of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease and avian influenza are completely unfounded, Biosecurity New Zealand says.

Palm kernel extract is an ingredient in New Zealand made stockfeed, and is a by-product of an oil extraction process. In recent days, some New Zealand media have published articles claiming there is a risk of disease in such imports. None have sought Biosecurity New Zealand comment.

Biosecurity New Zealand’s Senior Adviser Operational Standards, Dave Nendick, said MAF’s import health standard for oil seed meals for animal feed required treatment in a manner which eliminated the risk of diseases being imported. Only 27 countries are approved to export Palm Kernel meal to New Zealand. About 100,000 tonnes is imported annually.

“To import palm kernel extract, phytosanitary certification is required, and the exporting country must confirm that standards required by MAF have been met to eliminate any chance of disease being present.

“They have to declare that the extract has been made in a facility dedicated to plant based meals and oils, that no other animal rations are made there, and that it has not been exposed to any source of animal contamination before processing.

“It also has to be heat processed to a core temperature of at least 85°C for at least five minutes. It must also been kept secure from possible sources of contamination before and during export. These include unprocessed plant material, vermin, birds, ruminant animals, faecal material and other animal products. It is also inspected on arrival.”

“To say that there is a risk with such standards in place is quite simply incorrect,” Dave Nendick said.

ENDS

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