QLD tomato crop destroyed by poisoner

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 6th July 2010

Millions of Truss tomato seedlings have been poisoned with herbicide at a hydroponics farm and plant nursery in Bowen in Northern Queensland.

The sabotage is likely to have nationwide consequences for tomato prices, with the region growing 80% of the nation’s September tomatoes.

Queensland Health says tomatoes from the property have been tested, and are safe for consumption with no residue of herbicide detected, and that testing will continue.

Police are investigating the incident, the costs of which have been estimated at $50 million. In addition to lost revenue, workers are also likely to be affected by the lost picking and processing requirements.

This is the third time crops in the region have been poisoned, with the herbicide apparently having been injected into the irrigation system.