Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Seaweed imports allowed entry



Download PDFDownload PDF

η

MINISTER FOR RESOURCES

PIE91/063GQ

ALAN GRIFFITHS

SEAWEED IMPORTS ALLOWED ENTRY

Some imports of edible seaweed and kelp held in quarantine for the past five weeks for exceeding Australian residue standards for arsenic and cadmium are to be allowed entry.

This was announqed today by the Minister for Resources, Mr Alan Griffiths.

"As part of its imported foods inspection program, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) began inspecting edible seaweed and kelp on January 15," Mr Griffiths said.

"This was done on the recommendation of the Imported Foods Risk Advisory Committee which includes representatives of AQIS, Commonwealth and State Health Departments, importers, and consumer organisations.

"Since testing began, most imports have been found to exceed the current Australian standards.

For example, the standard for arsenic is based on total arsenic, and there is now some scientific debate about whether this standard is applicable for edible seaweed.

"Both standards are now being reviewed as a matter of urgency by the National Health and Medical Research Council."

Mr Griffiths said AQIS will continue to test imports of edible seaweed and kelp pending the results of the review.

"However, from today, these products will be released only if AQIS is satisfied, on the basis of expert health advice, that they are safe."

Further information: Don Gumming (06) 272 5500 (w) (06)231 0876(h)

COMMONWEALTH \

PAR LIAM EN TAR Y L IB R A ;,; J MIC AH

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: (06) 2777480 Fax: (06) 2734154