CLAIMS that the United States is “piggy backing” on New Zealand’s application to export apples to Australia are incorrect, according to Biosecurity acting manager Geoff Gorrie.
Mr Gorrie, who is also the acting secretary of the Federal Department Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, said that while the United States had lodged an application eight months ago Biosecurity had not yet assigned a priority to that application and was unlikely to until a final determination had been made on the New Zealand application.
Biosecurity has been condemned by apple and pear growers following its recommendation last month that said the Australian pome fruit industry could be protected from the risk of fire blight, which occurs in New Zealand, if stringent import conditions were imposed.
“The United States hasn’t taken advantage of the draft import risk analysis (IRA) of apples from New Zealand,” Mr Gorrie said.
“In fact the US application was lodged seven months before the draft IRA on New Zealand was released.”
He said the US application would be treated separately from the draft.
The comment period on the New Zealand application closes on November 11.