For more than twenty years the Country Women’s Association of NSW has lobbied against the importation of foods and to improve biosecurity laws and systems so that our fruit and vegetable industries are protected and the possibility of food contamination reduced.
If that is the case, how do we now find ourselves at risk of contracting Hepatitis A from contaminated fruit imported from overseas?
The Department of Agriculture operates a risk-based border inspection scheme to monitor importers’ compliance with sourcing food that meets Australia’s food standards.
According to the Departments “Imported Food Inspection Data” report for January – June 2014 horticulture, which includes fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, was the second highest single commodity (after seafood) requiring inspection. However fruit was only tested as a ‘surveillance food’ for pesticides using electronic profiles.
Clearly not a good enough system, especially when our local growers are subject to such high standards.
Where will you now buy your fruit and vegetables?