Biosecurity New Zealand has suspended fresh melon imports from Queensland following a border detection of an unwanted fruit disease.
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) was detected following routine border testing of a consignment of watermelons from Queensland Australia, says Peter Thomson, Biosecurity New Zealand’s plants and pathways director.
CGMMV does not pose a risk to human health. It affects cucurbit fruit, including watermelon, cucumber, honeydew melon, rock melon, scallopini, zucchini, and pumpkin.
The virus can deform young leaves of those crops and and damage the fruit.
“The detection shows New Zealand’s biosecurity system in action,” says Mr Thomson.
“There is no suggestion the disease is in New Zealand. As a precautionary measure, Biosecurity New Zealand has suspended imports of fresh cucurbit fruit from Queensland.”
The suspension has affected several melon consignments that have been placed on hold at the border.
“We are working with importers to determine whether or not their product will be able to enter the New Zealand market.
“We are also working closely with Australian authorities who have agreed to not issue export certificates for any new consignments until they have investigated the situation and taken corrective measures,” says Mr Thomson.
“The length of the suspension will depend on how quickly Australian authorities can investigate the situation and put measures in place to assure New Zealand that their product is free from the disease.
“The import season for water, honey, and rock melons from Australia ends shortly. This will reduce any impact of the suspension for New Zealand consumers.”
The suspension does not affect imports of fresh cucurbit species from other Australian states.
A fact sheet on cucumber green mottle mosaic virus can be found HERE.
Source: Ministry for Primary Industries