A great big banana tax

$5 for a banana? At $12 per kg. they’re already $3 a piece.

Aus­tralian Banana Grow­ers Coun­cil chief exec­u­tive Jonathan Eccles said yes­ter­day heavy rain and a cold snap since Cyclone Yasi wiped out 75 per cent of the crop in Feb­ru­ary had slowed banana growth and cut pro­duc­tion. “We’ll cer­tain­ly see whole­sale prices increase because of the sup­ply and demand mar­ket,’ Mr Eccles said.” Extract from Gro­cers warn: Yes, we’ll have no bananas | The Australian

How long does this mad­ness con­tin­ue before the our gov­ern­ment tells the truth? Or the press shows some skep­ti­cism about this indus­try bullshit?

Bananas are not in “short sup­ply” any­where in the world except Australia…because of our mad­ly expen­sive, incon­sis­tent ban on banana imports. The con­tin­u­a­tion of the trade ban—costing the Aus­tralian con­sumer tens and pos­si­bly hun­dreds of mil­lions of dollars—was appar­ent­ly bought from a gov­ern­ment that is devel­op­ing a habit of eccen­tric, expen­sive, futile iso­la­tion of our mar­ket (from glob­al CO2 emis­sions as much as fresh fruit). This despite an appar­ent weak­en­ing of the “sci­en­tif­ic” jus­ti­fi­ca­tion last year.

But on bananas, Labor mere­ly copies the craven poli­cies of its con­ser­v­a­tive pre­de­ces­sor. WTO has deter­mined that our claims about NZ apples (banned most recent­ly by the for­mer Natioanl par­ty Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Peter McGuaran) are “exag­ger­at­ed” and must be revised; just as our ban on Cana­di­an salmon and U.S. pork had been. There is lit­tle doubt that the same can be said of the bare­ly cred­i­ble claims about banana fun­gal dis­eases that sup­pos­ed­ly pose such a dev­as­tat­ing risk to Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion but have no such impact in coun­tries such as Philip­pines and Thai­land where they are appar­ent­ly rife (they prob­a­bly also exist in Australia…but shhh!)

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