1 Sep 2009

Inquiry into NZ beef mistakenly labelled from China

8:25 pm on 1 September 2009

Australia's Agriculture Minister Tony Burke has called on its quarantine boss to explain why beef imported from New Zealand was mistakenly labelled as coming from China.

It involved 8.8 tonnes of frozen beef burger patties imported between March and May this year, the AAP reports.

Beef products from New Zealand are permitted into Australia without an import permit, due to its favourable biosecurity and animal health status, including for mad-cow disease.

Uncanned beef products of Chinese origin are not allowed into Australia.

Mr Burke says while the mistake is unacceptable and ought not to have occurred, there has been no biosecurity risk as a result of the error.

He has called for a review of management, training, coordination and verification systems within the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service to ensure public confidence in the nation's biosecurity system.