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Wednesday 25 May 2005
Claims that palm kernel extract imports are a risk for the importation
of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease and avian influenza are
completely unfounded, Biosecurity New Zealand says.
Palm kernel extract is an ingredient in New Zealand made stockfeed, and
is a by-product of an oil extraction process. In recent days, some New
Zealand media have published articles claiming there is a risk of disease
in such imports. None have sought Biosecurity New Zealand comment.
Biosecurity New Zealand's Senior Adviser Operational Standards, Dave
Nendick, said MAF's import health standard for oil seed meals for animal
feed required treatment in a manner which eliminated the risk of diseases
being imported. Only 27 countries are approved to export Palm Kernel meal
to New Zealand. About 100,000 tonnes is imported annually.
"To import palm kernel extract, phytosanitary certification is
required, and the exporting country must confirm that standards required
by MAF have been met to eliminate any chance of disease being present.
"They have to declare that the extract has been made in a facility
dedicated to plant based meals and oils, that no other animal rations are
made there, and that it has not been exposed to any source of animal
contamination before processing.
"It also has to be heat processed to a core temperature of at least
85°C for at least five minutes. It must also been kept secure from
possible sources of contamination before and during export. These include
unprocessed plant material, vermin, birds, ruminant animals, faecal
material and other animal products. It is also inspected on arrival."
"To say that there is a risk with such standards in place is quite
simply incorrect," Dave Nendick said.
Media contact: Phil Barclay Communication Adviser Biosecurity New
Zealand 027 229 9145