Concerns over Chinese apples and pears

Posted by Josette Dunn on 7th April 2010

applespears-c.jpgAustralian apple and pear growers are extremely concerned with the provisional final Import Risk Analysis (IRA) for apples from China.

APAL spokesperson on biosecurity issues and chairman of the Fire Blight Task Force, John Corby said the concerns of Australian apple and pear growers have been ignored in this process.

“With three diseases in particular, oriental fruit moth, apple brown rot and European canker, the IRA does not specify which provinces have an unacceptable risk, but rather recommends that China is responsible for advising Biosecurity Australia before an appropriate protocol is established.

“During the China IRA process, the Australian apple and pear industry has on many occasions communicated its concerns regarding the pest and disease risks of the different regions in China. Clearly our concerns have been disregarded in this final risk analysis.”

Chairman of Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL), Darral Ashton said the industry is presently seeking advice on whether these omissions breach IRA guidelines before it decides how it will officially respond.

“The industry is also seeking an urgent meeting with the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Tony Burke, to seek clarification of his and the Government’s position on this and other matters of critical importance to the Australian apple and pear industry,” Mr Ashton said.