The Australian Greens have been on a collision course with the apple, but their efforts to win back the majority in the Upper House are proving more successful than expected.
The party has been pushing to make a new commitment to ban fruit and vegetables from the national diet for a year and a half.
A move that was opposed by the major food producers, who have called for a ban on their products in all countries except Australia.
And now it appears the Greens are in the midst of a second push to make the ban a reality.
The Australian Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, was among the few politicians to join the push, but he has since conceded that he did not win the vote.
“I think that was a result of the media,” Mr Di Natal told The Australian Financial Review.
“They were able to say that I had lost my support.”
Mr Di Natall says he lost the vote because of his refusal to ban food and fruit from Australia.
“We’ve tried to make that clear,” he said.
“The Greens have not been able to win support from any major food group in this country.”
I don’t want to be in a position where I have to defend the decision that I made in 2014 when I said that we were not going to ban foods and I have not made that commitment.
“The Greens will try again to ban Australian fruit and vegetable imports from June 30 next year.
The new policy will ban fruit from the US and Canada, as well as from Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Turkey.
Mr Diasnat says the policy will save the Greens the cost of exporting fruit and veg to countries like China, India and Brazil.
But many food companies are against the move, with the US Department of Agriculture stating that the fruit ban would create an economic impact of more than $200 million annually, and would lead to a loss of $2 billion annually in annual retail sales.
Australia’s Food and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has previously said he was not opposed to banning Australian produce, but that the Greens’ decision would be a mistake.”
Australia will continue to export fruit and produce to other countries that are in a very close relationship with us, but we don’t ban them, and I’m not going on the record saying we do,” he told the ABC.”
What I’m saying is that we need to look at all aspects of our trade relationship with the United States and other countries to make sure that we do our part to ensure that Australia can remain a leading agricultural exporter and one of the world’s top agricultural producers.