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Friday, November 19, 2010

Domestic bio-terrorism Government Department limits liability to PSA

Kiwifruit growers eager to move ahead with Govt plan
Kiwifruit growers have shown strong support for a $50 million plan to fight a bacterial disease threatening the $1.5 billion industry.

Biosecurity Minister David Carter said yesterday $25 million would be provided by the Government to fund an "urgent, aggressive strategy" subject to a dollar-for-dollar match from the industry.

Ummmmmm, isn't $25 million a bit of a bullshit payout to the industry? MAF have admitted that they spread contaminated pollen infected with PSA but claimed that there is no science that shows contaminated pollen is a vector for PSA. That sounds like bullshit, contaminated pollen has been a proven vector for bacterial disease stretching back to 1881 with fireblight in this country.

MAF spread contaminated pollen infected with PSA, claim contaminated pollen isn't a vector and tell the industry they'll pay a measly $25 million for unleashing it. Since when the hell did MAF operate as a domestic bio-terrorism cell and since when the hell did the media just accept what MAF have to say without challenging it?

I'm more surprised at the incompetence of the media than I am of MAF.


At 19/11/10 10:07 am, Anonymous prickly pear said...

Are all your posts this far removed from reality?

You claim:
contaminated pollen has been a proven vector for bacterial disease stretching back to 1881 with fireblight in this country

Fireblight was not detected in NZ until 1919. Pollen was not considered as a means of transmission. The (scanty) records of the time focus on nursery stock as the disperal mechanism. (See Hale, C.N., McRae, E.M. and Thomson, S.V. (1987) Occurrence of Erwinia amylovora on apple fruit in New Zealand. Acta Horticulturae 217: 33-40)

MAF have admitted that they spread contaminated pollen infected with PSA

A source or a quote would be nice, since no such admission has been made.

Someone in the kiwifruit industry imported pollen and (apparently) used it on orchards. The pollen may or may not have been infected with Psa, which is a genuine concern. Plenty of growers report seeing Psa symptoms years before this pollen entered the country. And no one in the industry is aware of imported pollen being used in Hawke's Bay or Nelson, where Psa has also been detected.

MAF... claim contaminated pollen isn't a vector

Care to find a scientific reference that contradicts this? Bees have been demonstrated to vector bacterial diseases within an orchard, and the bacteria may or may not be on pollen. But evidence that pollen collected in one country, processed, dried, frozen, un-frozen and applied to flowers has ever transmitted a bacterial disease? Zero. Zip. Nilch. Nada. Rien.

Better stick to the fact-free realms of political commentary, where you can make up as much shit as you like, and no one can point out your ignorance. Step into an area ruled by science and your posts look downright embarrassing.

At 19/11/10 2:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're surprised by the incompetence of the media????
Our suck & swallow media???
C'mon bro...
That's like being surprised that winters cold..

At 21/11/10 8:41 am, Blogger Bomber said...

Thank you prickly pear for your attempt to denigrate me personally while making your claim that pollen doesn't carry psa, thank god the media have countered your lies

PSA found in kiwifruit pollen

oh and the title of this story is Report: Pollen can carry disease

Thank you pear, stick to personal attacks and not the facts, when challenged you not only look embarrassing you look like an apologist for MAF.

At 21/11/10 9:29 am, Blogger Bomber said...

And fuck me ANOTHER story of how pollen carried the psa...

DNA tests find kiwifruit bug in 2009 pollen
BIOSECURITY OFFICIALS say samples of kiwifruit pollen collected from the Bay of Plenty and South Auckland over the past two years contain the bacteria that cause vine canker.

...if you spent less time personalizing your point to attack me Pear you might have some credibility. Tell us all again that pollen can't carry psa?

At 21/12/10 9:48 am, Blogger Bomber said...

Prickly Pear is avoiding the point, that bacterial infection is vectored by pollen as expressed by Zespri chief executive Lain Jager in the NZ Herald on 12th November, "... it was possible that bees could spread the Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae (Psa) bacterium now confirmed on three Te Puke orchards."

Just because there is no specific scientific resesarch confirming that this is the case, does not mean it isn't so. Indeed, the knowledge that fireblight is spread by pollen has been known since the late nineteenth century (Burrill 1880, 1881 and 1886), and is widely recognised as a vector in at least 10% of bacterial pathogens of plants.

On November 14th MAF informed growers that it was possible that artificial pollenation of kiwifruit could spread the disease, and on 17th November in a press release confirmed that they identified kiwifruit pollen contaminated with Psa bacteria from 2007, 2009 and 2010.

The same press release reiterated the MAF Biosecurity stance that because there is no evidence, the use of contaminated pollen is safe, which is why they released at least one contaminated shipment of Chilean sourced pollen earlier this year.

In the 17th November release the Ministry stated , "Response Manager, David Yard, says there seems to be no clear link between the use of artificial pollination and the spread of the disease.

“There is no firm evidence that artificial pollination is causing Psa disease."

At best, MAF biosecurity seems to be be confused, at worst it is obfuscating to cover its arse. On 14th, growers are told artificial pollenation could spread the disease, and that they should cease this actiity. On 17th the is no evidence.

Should Mr Pear want more evidence of the role of pollen as a vector for bacteria, he should try the following paper:

Mike J. JEGER, Marco PAUTASSO, Ottmar HOLDENRIEDER and Mike W. SHAW, Modelling disease spread and control in networks: implications for plant sciences in New Phytologist, January 2007.

Active media should have already asked the questions;

"Given that MAF Biosecurity are prepared to sieze a half eaten sandwich from the luggage of an incoming tourist, why are they so reticent to block imports of contaminated kiwifruit pollen?"

"If there is risk of terrorist activity implicit in a passenger carrying shampoo on a commercial flight, why is the same risk factor not applied to our biosecurity standards?"


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