Organic produce growers against banana imports

ORGANIC banana growers have joined the chorus of groups that have criticised a decision to allow bananas to be imported from the Philippines.

The Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) group says a decision to allow Cavendish bananas into the country could affect Australian producers' certified organic status.

The decision carries both marketing and production implications to the industry, BFA organic standards committee convenor Andrew Monk says.

“It allows for the potential introduction of exotic diseases that cannot be treated or eliminated using organic or biologically orientated methods,” Dr Monk said in a statement.

Foreign pests and diseases could destroy the livelihoods of the organic industry in a matter of days, he said.

Current approaches to both scientific and market risk review need to be adjusted to include developing markets like the organic food industry, Dr Monk said.

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