CSIRO: Australia’s under-resourced biosecurity puts country at risk

November 24, 2014

Editor’s Note: CSIRO’s website explains that “the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.”

From: The Age

Bridie Smith

Australia’s biosecurity is at risk from what the CSIRO has called “the efficiency era”, which could hit the country’s ability to protect itself from external threats such as highly contagious human diseases and agricultural pests.

In a comprehensive report released on Tuesday, “the efficiency era” is one of five “biosecurity megatrends” identified as having the potential to compromise the country’s economy, health and environment in coming decades.


Among the known global threats are bird flu, the severe respiratory disease MERS which has killed 346 people in Saudi Arabia and the arrival in Australia of the varroa mite which could severely hit European honey bee populations, costing the agricultural sector up to $6 billion in lost pollination. Dr Fitt said avocado and almond growers would be among the worst hit but warned other fruit and vegetable growers would not be immune if the mite arrived in Australia.

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