Health and long life - a forest risk?
Scion is the leading provider of forest-related knowledge in New Zealand
Formerly known as the Forest Research Institute, Scion has been a leader in research relating to forest health for over 50 years. The Rotorua-based Crown Research Institute continues to provide science that will protect all forests from damage caused by insect pests, pathogens and weeds. The information presented below arises from these research activities.
From Forest Health News 132, August 2003.
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) recently reported that they had intercepted over 1500 items of unsolicited junk mail containing sachets of Ganoderma lucidum. The fungal material was raw and unprocessed, and so potentially still capable of growing. Ganoderma lucidum is not found in Australia* or New Zealand and as the cause of a significant butt and root rot of hardwoods it constitutes an unwanted pest in the region.
The fungus, known medicinally as ling zhi or ‘the sacred mushroom of immortality’, is being distributed by a European-based company, Friedrich Mueller International House of Nature from a number of addresses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The accompanying documentation describes claims for G. lucidum that the product will improve circulation, reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, destroy tumours, and help in losing or gaining weight as required.
All mail entering New Zealand is screened for items of biosecurity concern. However, the quantity of mail entering means that there is always a risk that something might slip through. As New Zealand is a potential target for a postal marketing campaign of this type there is a need for vigilance. If items like the medicinal G. lucidum arrive unsolicited in the mail they should be reported to MAF immediately.
(Geoff Ridley, Forest Research)
* Related species do occur in Australia.
This information is intended for general interest only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific specialist advice on any matter and should not be relied on for that purpose. Scion will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, loss of profits, or any other intangible losses that result from using the information provided on this site.
(Scion is the trading name of the New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited.)