The Australian Government’s draft review of import conditions for brassicaceous crop seeds for sowing into Australia, released in February 2018, proposed that imported seeds for a wide range of common vegetables would be required to be treated with a broad-spectrum systemic fungicide.
Since both Australian organic and conventional vegetable production rely heavily on imported seeds, the implications of this proposed mandatory treatment were far reaching especially for the organic industry where synthetic agricultural chemicals such as these are prohibited.
Australian Organic Ltd delivered a submission of researched and scientific based recommendations of alternatives in contrast to the proposed mandatory broad spectrum fungicide treatment for all brassicaceous seeds, which was submitted in April 2018.
Australian Organic received a response to this submission dated 5 September 2019 from the Department of Agriculture, Plant Sciences and Risk Assessment. The response from the Department thoroughly considered all points raised and thoroughly reviewed Australian Organic’s issues of concern.
On 13 September 2019, the Department of Agriculture released its final report into the “Review of import conditions for brassicaceous vegetable seeds for sowing”.
The final report concluded: “Seeds of most brassicaceous vegetable species are not hosts of pathogens that are of biosecurity concern to Australia and therefore, do not require additional biosecurity measures. Instead, these species will continue to be subject to the department’s standard import conditions for seeds for sowing.”
The outcomes of the final report are considered to be a huge win for the organic industry, and Australian Organic would like to make special mention to the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Seed Federation for their collaborations on this resolution.
– Read Australian Organic’s full summary of the final report here (25 September 2019):
– Read the Department of Agriculture’s response to the submission here (5 September 2019):
– Read Australian Organic’s submission below (April 2018):