Sporeshift Mushrooms Caught Selling Illegal Mushroom Spawn
Posted on 31 December 2020 | Terry Hitchcock | 1 Comment
Taylor McConnell of Sporeshift mushrooms has been caught selling illegal spawn on Trademe after our undercover PI purchased it. The spawn labeled as "Blue Oyster" DNA came back as an undescribed new to science species of Pleurotus SP. MPI declined to comment stating the matter is still under investigation.
The spawn has since been pulled from Trademe and the Sporeshift mushrooms website after government officials contacted Sporeshift mushrooms. If anyone should know the importance of getting DNA done it should be Taylor Mcconnell. Mcconnell started a failed givealittle to try and import a blue oyster mushroom back in June 2019. But it would have been stopped in its tracks when applying to plant imports for a license. Taylor McConnell stated that he would need extra costs for lab testing and Identification in NZ on the givealittle page.
Shockingly and very mysteriously that exact mushroom turned up for sale on TradeMe under the Sporeshift mushroom brand without any formal identification. This means somehow that exact mushroom that McConnell failed a givealittle for was illegally imported into NZ.
One grower Rochelle Alagar who also grew this illegal mushroom in The Mushroom House in Wellington has gone public saying "it came from a Chinese market in Hamelton" that would be extremely unlikely as the Asian version is a completely different species and this one is linked to the USA.
The private investigator who ordered the spawn was shocked that it did not arrive without more than 5% colonization.
Actual picture of the mushroom spawn (if you can call it that?) sent from Sporshift mushrooms.
It took over a month for the whole bag to be fully colonized and "usable"
The private investigator was extremely surprised that he paid $13.50 for freight and the item came in a bag that only cost $4.50 freight. The invoice did not mention postage and handling just freight. This could be breaking the consumer guarantees act. A formal complaint will be made when NZ is back to normal. Consumer complaints are treated seriously and under the consumer guarantees act the commerce commission takes the party you complained about to court for you.
But it does not end there, it is against the terms and conditions of Trademe to sell illegal goods on TradeMe. We reached out to Trademe and a Trademe representative said "if any member was caught selling illegal goods all their Trademe accounts would be removed and the owner would be barred from opening any further accounts"
The whole case is still waiting to be heard at the environmental court the EPA Once their ruling is in the private investigator will complain to both the commerce commission and Trademe.
In the future, I will also be pushing to MPI strict regulations to prevent this from happening again like anyone selling mushrooms or growing them for sale must have DNA verification of species. You would think any person with the slightest piece of common sense would seek DNA. The end result could only end up in killing someone.
Undescribed species like the one mentioned could have the ability to devastate native forests or ruin the horticulture industry. Some Oyster mushrooms parasite on living trees this is why the King oyster mushroom will never be allowed in NZ.
More to come soon...