Biosecurity Bollocks?

You may or may not be aware that MAFBNZ suspended exports of tomatoes and capsicums to Australia the other day because of a new bacterial disease that has been found in the North Island.  If you watched the news on TV the other night ou would have been forgiven for thinking the problem was an insect, it’s not, the insect is the vector…anyway quite rigtly MAFBNZ suspeded exports.  That’s the biosecurity system working well.

Today however I recieved an email that states that Australia has closed it’s doors to the fruit and nursery stock of Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Capsicum, Chillis, Eggplant, Pear Melon, and Potatoes and…wait for it…possibly Citrus.

Now I know the insect that transmits the disease is called the Tomato Potato Psyillid but the bacteria that was found was a new sub species and for the non-scientists among you, Humans are sometimes classified as Homo sapien sapien (with the second sapien being the sub species).  BA have basically stopped the import of all fruits and vegetables that can be infected with the Liberibacter genus. 

I want to know if there is any scientific merit in this or are the Australians once again using the phytosanitary issues as a protectionist (bio)security blanket. 

I also want to know if it is an actual issue for potatoes as we aren;t allowed to import raw product anyway; it has to be processed.

I’ll keep you posted.

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