EPA declines application to import fungus
20 June 2019
We have declined an application to import and release a fungus intended to improve crop growth due to a potential for adverse environmental effects.
The application to import and release the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Glomus iranicum var. tenuihypharum was made by Symborg Business Development S.L..
Symborg sought to commercialise mycorrhizal inoculum products in New Zealand by providing new options to improve crop development and growth.
Submissions on the application were called for and a public hearing held before the Decision-making Committee in Wellington on 10 May 2019.
In the absence of any evidence showing where the introduction of this organism had led to lower fertiliser use, the committee could not conclude the fungus would generate benefits to the economy or the environment.
Potential adverse effects on the environment included displacement of native species, dispersion beyond the intended application areas, and assistance of establishment and dispersal of exotic species and invasive weeds.
The decision was notified on 20 June 2019.
You can read the presentations made to the Committee by the applicant, submitters, and us, and all documents relating to the application in our database.