3News: Scientist’s actions a ‘disgraceful fiasco’ – judge

Terril Marais has been sentenced after the Auckland District Council found her guilty of lying to MAF officers about the origins of the insect she was using for pest control for a client.

The scientist brought the insect in from overseas and then cloned it, but told MAF officers she had found it in the Botanical Gardens in Auckland.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Marais runs a biological pest control company and three years ago her client Great Lake Tomatoes asked her to help bring in and grow the Mirid Bug.

“It is widely used in Europe to control the effects of the white fly pest on greenhouse tomato crops.

“”While the Mirid Bug can be used as a control agent in Europe, that is not proven in New Zealand and they should have known better,” says MAG Biosecurity spokesman David Hayes.

“”They should have done the validation and the work first before they were going to release something into the market place here.””