2 April 2004
Biosecurity Australia has strongly refuted claims Australia could expect an outbreak of Moko disease within two years if Philippine bananas were imported.
“The import risk analysis (IRA) just does not support such a claim.” BA’s Executive Manager Mary Harwood said today.
“While we welcome scientific and technical comments from stakeholders, today’s claim from the growers’ lobby group is simply not valid.
“I would like to reassure all stakeholders that Australia has undertaken an extremely rigorous assessment of Moko and has recommended very tough quarantine measures to deal with this disease.
The industry’s assertions about Moko appear to fundamentally misunderstand the way quarantine works, the strength of the recommended measures and the science that underpins them.
“In each IRA we do, Biosecurity Australia draws on some of Australia’s foremost scientific and technical expertise to thoroughly assess all the available evidence and develop quarantine measures designed to ensure that Australia’s favourable animal and plant health status is maintained.
“A conservative approach is at the heart of our work in developing quarantine recommendations that protect the health of Australia’s agricultural industries and natural environment from exotic pests and diseases.”
Media Contact: Kylie McKinley, DAFF Media +61 2 6272 3232