- Executive Report (891 KB)
Review of strawberry seeds clearance and response
April 5th 2012
Testing results for strawberry seeds risk goods for sale at The Warehouse
Strawberry seeds imported into New Zealand and inappropriately given clearance at the border have been tested for six regulated viruses identified in the Import Health Standard that are capable of infecting strawberry seeds.
Based on the origin of the seeds, the known distribution and mode of transmission of the viruses and the relatively small number of seed kits sold, the seeds were considered to pose a low risk. To provide more information about the risk MAF propagated a sample of the seeds and tested the resulting plants for the viruses of concern. Note that there is no testing protocol to test the seeds themselves. Because of the time required to grow and test the plants, the results have only just become available.
All samples tested negative for the six regulated viruses in the Import Health Standard.
In 2011 an import consignment of "grow kits" containing strawberry seed, growing medium and a clay pot was mistakenly given biosecurity clearance and kits placed on sale in New Zealand.
The seeds should have been imported to a quarantine facility for germination and growth to rule out a range of six horticultural viruses.
A full public recall was initiated and testing of a seed sample for the risk viruses is underway.
A full review of the importation and resulting response to it was completed at the request of MAF’s Director General.
Page last updated: 5 April 2012