31 May 2012

Ministry confirms tainted kiwifruit destroyed

6:45 am on 31 May 2012

The Ministry for Primary Industries has confirmed that no antibiotic-contaminated kiwifruit has ended up in the market place.

It began an investigation after becoming aware early this year that some growers had misused used the antibiotic streptomycin to counter the PSA vine disease .

Growers in PSA zones and high risk areas were allowed to spray the bacteriocide onto their vines, but there were restrictions on when and how it could be used.

The ministry and Zespri tested all orchards after more than 60 growers indicated they may have misused streptomycin by either spraying outside the specified time, or illegally injecting it into their vines.

The tests show no residues have been found outside the 62 declared growers and the affected fruit was destroyed before it got to market.

The ministry says it is continuing to investigate the growers who misused streptomycin.