28 Jul 2010

Honey import decision possible early next year

12:56 pm on 28 July 2010

The Ministry of Agriculture expects to make a decision early next year about whether it will lift a ban on imports of honey and other bee products from Australia.

The ministry had to withdraw an import health standard it issued in 2006 to allow the imports, after the bee industry successfully challenged it in court, arguing it would increase the risk of bringing European Foul Brood and other bee pests and diseases into the country.

An independent inquiry ordered by the Government directed MAF to review aspects of the import standard and the risk analysis it did.

MAF Biosecurity says it's been focusing its research during the past year on two potential threats that bee-keepers have identified: a parasite, Nosema ceranae, and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, which has been linked to colony collapses overseas.