PSA could have been avoided
Thu, 05 Jul 2012 8:59a.m.
By 3 News online staff
The Government says it will adopt all the recommendations made by an inquiry into how the kiwifruit vine disease PSA entered this country.
The independent report found the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry failed to understand the risks PSA posed to the kiwifruit industry and didn't respond adequately to the outbreak.
“We knew from work done at University of Otago that PSA that’s in New Zealand had originated from China. We didn’t know how it got here. We now know that while it’s systemic errors, it’s arrived here through poor biosecurity, particularly around the importation of pollen or pollen-related plant material,” Seeka Kiwifruit Industries CEO Michael Franks told Firstline this morning – saying this discovery is a “huge revelation”.
Mr Franks says the importation of PSA could have been avoided.
“If we think about it, people in [the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry] knew that pollen could carry PSA, it knew that there was PSA in China, and parts of MAF knew that we importing pollen or pollen-related plant material from China, and so all three of those point to some failings,” he says.
The recommended a better focus on “risk management and border control” for significant industries, and improving communication with industry and research organisations.
Mr Franks says the report is fairly written and balanced, and admits ZESPRI and the industry could have better communicated with MAF.
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