If it continues to find the weed killer glyphosate during border testing, Japan has warned it will stop importing New Zealand honey.
Last year, New Zealand’s global honey exports totalled $490 million with almost $68m of that sent to Japan. The country is now testing all honey from New Zealand at the border after it detected glyphosate for the second time through random testing.
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been told by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare that if five percent of imported honey exceeds it glyphosate limit, it will stop the honey coming into Japan.
In response, MPI has announced glyphosate testing will be required before any honey is exported to Japan.
"Testing must be carried out in a laboratory approved to test for glyphosate in accordance with MPI's requirements," explained MPI food risk assessment manager at New Zealand Food Safety, Andrew Pearson.
"If test results are not provided, MPI will not grant export certification for that consignment of honey."
Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Karin Kos said honey producers had been told about the new rules, but many were already testing for glyphosate. No other countries have indicated they will introduce measures similar to Japan.