Submissions sought on agent to combat crop pest

Press Release – Environmental Protection Authority The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has opened submissions on an application to release a type of parasitic wasp as a biological control agent to combat a psyllid (plant louse) that attacks tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums and tamarillos in New Zealand.11 February 2016 Submissions sought on agent to combat tomato, potato, capsicum and tamarillo pest The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has opened submissions on an application to release a type of parasitic wasp as a biological control agent to combat a psyllid (plant louse) that attacks tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums and tamarillos in New Zealand. The application, from Horticulture New Zealand Inc, on behalf of a number of growers’ industry groups, seeks approval to release the psyllid parasitoid Tamarixia triozae (the wasp) to kill the tomato potato psyllid or TPP (Bactericera cockerelli). This application was made under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996. “Biological control is where the natural enemies of a plant pest (weed) or insect pest are released to reduce, eradicate and / or control those pests. We’re notifying this application to ensure that the EPA can consider all views about potential risks and benefits of introducing Tamarixia triozae into New Zealand,” said Applications and Assessment General Manager Sarah Gardner. The psyllid was first found in New Zealand in 2006. It has been reported as a pest in several countries. If...

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