100 tonnes of food “illegally imported” into Australia from Korea
More than 100 tonnes of meat and dairy products has been “illegally imported” into Australia from December 2009 to December 2010, according to a statement released today by Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck.
Senator Colbeck said that officials at the Australian Senate Estimates Committee painted a “worrying picture” that related to the illegal importation of more than 100 tonnes of meat and dairy products from South Korea, a country with where Foot and Mouth Disease is widespread.
He said that the products, which included dim sims, ice cream and raw meat were among a range of products illegally imported into Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from December 2009 until just before Christmas in 2010.
“This problem was discovered as part of an audit but how much longer could it have gone on before the illegal importations were uncovered. The Biosecurity Services Group is starting to come clean about the scale of a biosecurity risk to Australian agriculture,” Senator Colbeck said.
“Products had been widely distributed and were retrieved from about 300 retail premises, but we cannot be sure it was all found or how much was consumed. I’m concerned at how much product slipped through the net. The best I could get from the Department was that they “think they have got most of it”,” he said.