Australian growers call for ban on Argentinian peanut imports

Amid fears of their industry being devastated by a biosecurity breach, Australian peanut growers are urging the government to put a ban on peanut imports from Argentina.

More than half of the peanuts consumed in Australia are imported from a number of countries, including Argentina. But with that country in the grip of a peanut smut outbreak, local growers are worried and have called for an immediate ban on peanut imports from Argentina.

Rob Patch is a peanut grower in the southern Queensland town of Kingaroy, Australia's peanut growing and processing heartland, and is worried that his town and industry are at risk from imported peanuts.

"It's not here yet but if it does arrive, there's no getting rid of it," he said.

Currently, raw peanuts imported for processing are subject to stringent import conditions and requirements to manage the risk of pests and diseases. The department conducts regular audits of these facilities to ensure that they are meeting the conditions and requirements specified, but even with this, the peanut industry wants the government to go further in safeguarding the industry.

source: abc.net.au

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