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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