18 April 2018
The department released a draft report of the review of import conditions for brassicaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia for a 60 day consultation period, closing on 19 April 2018.
The draft report identified two fungal pathogens that are of quarantine concern to Australia, Colletotrichum higginsianum and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. raphani.
A fungicidal treatment was proposed for seeds of four species (Brassica oleracea, Brassica rapa, Raphanus sativus and Eruca vesicaria) to manage the risk of introducing these pathogens into Australia and to protect Australia’s vegetable industry.
The draft report also proposed additional, alternative options such as sourcing seed from pest free areas or pest free places of production, and as seed produced under a systems approach.
After feedback, the department met with representatives of the organic industry on 11 April 2018 to discuss alternative risk management options that are commercially viable and do not compromise Australia’s biosecurity.
As an outcome of the meeting, the department agreed to consider alternative equivalent options that do not involve chemical treatment or that use substances permitted by the National Standard for Organic and Biodynamic Produce.
These alternative options include, but are not limited to, testing of seed to demonstrate absence of the pathogens of quarantine concern, and use of hot water treatment. Other options proposed by the organic industry will also be considered by the department if the efficacy of the measure can be demonstrated.
When preparing the final report, the department will take into account stakeholder comments and, if necessary, will consult further with stakeholders. The final report will recommend a number of options that industry can choose from when importing brassicaceous seeds for sowing.
Stakeholders in the organic industry can direct technical comments to either Tony Webster from Organic Industries of Australia, who will be providing a coordinated response to the draft report (Project.Manger@organicindustries.com.au or 0448 439 334); or to the department at any time.
For further information on the meeting with the organic industry please see the Brassicaceous crop seeds for sowing import conditions review communiqué for meeting on 11 April 2018.
Stakeholders interested in receiving information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses are invited to subscribe via the department’s new online subscription service. By subscribing to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Plant, you will receive Biosecurity Advices and other notifications relating to plant biosecurity policy, including this risk analysis.
Dr Marion Healy
First Assistant Secretary
Biosecurity Plant Division
Telephone: 1800 900 090 (option 1, option 1)