AUSVEG backs ginger industry’s concerns over discovery of roundworms in imported Fijian product
AUSVEG is backing concerns raised by domestic ginger growers, following the discovery of roundworms in product imported from Fiji.
The Australian Ginger Industry Association has this week voiced its fears after the live roundworms were detected inside the Fijian ginger during independent testing.
“The fact that a live organism has made it through fumigation treatment and made its way on to Australian shores from overseas, raises some serious concerns in relation to the Import Risk Analysis for Fijian ginger conducted by biosecurity staff in the Federal Department of Agriculture,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Andrew MacDonald.
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
“The Department has sought to downplay the discovery of the pest, stating the Root Knot Nematode detected in the Fijian ginger is already present in Australia, and therefore “not a pest of quarantine concern”.”
“What it doesn’t address however is that quarantine fumigation has failed to kill the roundworm, and that next time it could be a far more damaging pest that slips through the net.”
AUSVEG has previously raised concerns in relation to the Federal Import Risk Analysis process amid fears fresh potato imports from New Zealand could result in infestations of the devastating Tomato Potato Psyllid and Zebra Chip Disease in Australia.
Thankfully, Australia has remained free of the pest after a Senate Inquiry earlier this year shared the industry’s concerns about the potential risks associated with importing New Zealand potatoes.
“Similarly, the ginger industry has voiced its fears about potential infestations of the highly-destructive Fijian Burrowing Nematode,” said Mr MacDonald.
“It is imperative that the Department of Agriculture heeds the warnings of industry groups, scientists and the Senate Committee, especially when any breach could have serious and destructive impacts on the health and viability of Australian horticulture,” said Mr MacDonald.
“AUSVEG shares the concerns of the Australian Ginger Industry Association and calls on the Federal Government to halt Fijian ginger imports until a more thorough assessment of the risks is conducted.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew MacDonald, Manager – Communications, AUSVEG, Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0406 836 330 E-mail: email@example.com