MAF Biosecurity calls halt to bulk imports of unprocessed Royal Jelly

24 January 2002

Permits to import unprocessed Royal Jelly are being withdrawn by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) following an assessment of the biosecurity risk after evidence of European Foulbrood disease was found during routine testing in December.

Unprocessed Royal Jelly is a bee secretion commonly used in production of tonics and health foods. Import of commercially processed products, in capsule form for instance, will continue.

Derek Belton, MAF's Director of Animal Biosecurity, says the decision will affect up to six importers. "We have notified the importers that we are continuing to assess the risk of the disease being transmitted through Royal Jelly. There is an ongoing process for developing a rigorous regime of Import Health Standards for bee products and this fits with that.

"It's our job to ensure adequate testing for the risk of any new disease and the work of our Reference Laboratories in picking up the risk of European Foulbrood - for the first time - demonstrates the value of the testing regime.

Mr Belton says European Foulbrood is a common disease in most countries of the world. "New Zealand is one of the few countries that are free of this disease. If the disease ever got out into New Zealand it would have a significant negative impact on our honey bee industry".

For further information contact:
Derek Belton, Director, Animal Biosecurity Direct line: (04) 474 4155 Cell phone: (021) 221 1974 or Stephen Olsen, Communications Adviser Direct line: (04) 470 2753 Cell phone: (025) 977 028



Last Updated: 05 October 2010

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