Economic War? How China spreads disease

via plantandfood.co.nz

via plantandfood.co.nz

Yesterday there was a report that scientists at Otago University have figured out the path that the Kiwifruit bacterial disease, PSA, took to get to New Zealand by analysing DNA.

I’ve been waiting for someone to suggest the introduction of PSA into New Zealand wasn’t accidental.  That it could possibly be a deliberate act of economic war.

Here’s the critical part of ODT piece  

Scientists from the University of Otago’s department of biochemistry today published evidence that the virus began its journey in China, before travelling to Italy in 2008 and Chile and here in 2010.

This result would help clarify the pathway by which Psa entered New Zealand, researchers Associate Professor Russell Poulter, Professor Iain Lamont and Dr Margi Butler said

That explains the timeline.  But it doesn’t mean PSA traveled to Italy, then from Italy to Chile, and then from Chile to New Zealand.  Oh no.

Dr Poulter said the team found the core genomes of the Chinese, Chilean, Italian and New Zealand strains were almost identical and likely shared a common ancestor around 10-15 years ago.

However the genome sequence demonstrates that the New Zealand strains are a distinct clone. The Italian strains form another geographical clone.

“These findings paint a clear picture of an independent Chinese origin for both the Italian and the New Zealand outbreaks and suggest the Chilean strains also come from China, Dr Poulter said.

I’m not a scientist, but I’d like to know how a bacterial disease travels from China to Chile and from China to New Zealand quite independently.

I smell a rat.

  • Magor

    Apparently came into NZ in an untested batch of pollen…., if memory serves me correctly – 2009.

    • surfisup

      Source?

      If it were known, why’d they bother with dna testing?

      • Magor

        An effected grower on News talk ZB last week was quiet emphatic about the source…

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.wrathall.9 Steve Wrathall

    So a virus that infects “Chinese gooseberry” originated in China? Who would have thought?

    • Marc Williams

      It’s not a virus Steve – it’s a bacteria. Yes, there is a huge difference.

  • Gazzaw

    The kiwifruit grower in Te Puke whose orchard was the first struck down by PSA spoke at length on Red Radio this morning. He has nothing but scathing contempt for the MPI (formerly MAF) whose negligence initially allowed the infected anthers to be imported from China and the ensuing six months after discovery of the virus on his orchard DID NOTHING to prevent the virus spreading. The orchardist described the spread of the virus as a firestorm – it was that quick. He maintains that had effective measures been taken by the MPI the current crisis would not have happened. He wants a Royal Commission of Enquiry into the MPI as he rightly fears what would happen to our economy if the same negligence occurred in the event of a discovery of foot & mouth.

  • MarkF

    Whale (or subbie) I implore you to stop read the Horrid looking for mistakes it is obviously extremely contagious.

    “Yesterday there was a report that scientists at Otago University have
    figured out the path that the Kiwifruit bacterial disease, PSA, took to
    get to New Zealand by analysing DNA.”

    Followed by;

    “Scientists from the University of Otago’s department of biochemistry
    today published evidence that the virus began its journey in China,
    before travelling to Italy in 2008 and Chile and here in 2010.”

  • surfisup

    I bet someone will sneak foot and mouth disease into the country at some stage.

    There are many out there for whom this would make a lot of money.

    In fact, penalties should include up to life in jail for such sabotage.

    It literally kills people, some commit suicide, the tax base is lower and funding for healthcare drops etc etc .

  • steve and monique

    Down south someone introduced RCD virus for rabbits.So how hard would it be to bring in this bacteria for Kiwi fruit.

    • Hazards001

      The Rabbit Colibacillosis introduction was a virtual terrorist act. By doing so the Central Otago Farmers involved ruined any chance of a successful controlled introduction. The rabbit population of Central Otago was knocked back for a couple of years at most and is now a thriving community that borders on being a cross between WFF and interest free student loans the lil’ bugs bastards take so much! (It should also be noted that the bunnies in Labour believe they have the sexiest rabbit in parliament..more like a feral bush pig if you ask me)

      And not for one instance have I put it past the Red Chinese Commies to fuck over our economy with the same type of actions. Probably Govt. sponsored and a leaf taken from the froggie commie bastards books that attacked NZ 1st.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Oops don’t expect to here to much more on that subject, as the Government looks to quieten down any suggestion that our friends, would sabotage our industries or blow up boats etc.

  • thor42

    The Aussies may have played hardball with letting our apples in there, but you’ve got to admit that *their* biosecurity is *light-years* ahead of ours.

    We could learn a thing or twenty from them.

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