New Zealand looks into PKE's biosecurity risk

New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries is looking into claims by Federated Farmers that palm kernel expeller grown in Malaysia could lead to a biosecurity risk in New Zealand.

David Clark, the grains executive vice chairman of Federated Farmers, and Colin MacKinnon, Federated Farmers' maize growers committee chairman, visited Malaysia in September to look into the country's palm industry. While the pair's official tour was in good order, the two New Zealand representatives observed import health standard breaches during an unofficial investigation, the Timaru Herald reports.

"What we saw would be a complete breach of the import health standard if that palm kernel, when it was consolidated, formed part of a shipment coming to New Zealand," Clark said, according to the Timaru Herald.

Clark would not elaborate on the details of the breaches to give the MPI the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the claims. Federated Farmers met with the MPI earlier this month to present the findings.

PKE is used as a supplementary feed in the dairy industry. The seed and grain sector have argued that PKE represents a biosecurity risk in New Zealand because of the risk of contamination by diseases such as foot and mouth.

Biosecurity New Zealand and the MPI have denied the risks, the Timaru Herald reports.