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Kedgley Moves Two Budget Amendments

Kedgley Moves Budget Amendments To Address Health Concerns

Green MP Sue Kedgley will today move two amendments - as part of the Green Party's peace dividend initiative - to add $5 million to the Health estimates in an attempt to address the unanimous concerns of the Health Select Committee.

Ms Kedgley will propose additional funding to address concerns about the lack of any monitoring of genetically engineered food, the lack of any national infectious disease prevention strategy in New Zealand and the need for greater emphasis on nutrition education within the Ministry of Health.

Ms Kedgley said her amendments would ensure the Ministry could act immediately to address the Health Select committees concerns which are detailed in the Select Committee's Estimates Report.

Ms Kedgley said she was concerned that there were no nutrition education campaigns in New Zealand, particularly ones directed at children, to counter junk food advertising on television and to make healthy food more appealing to children.

She pointed out that the British government is spending two million pounds this year to make healthy food more appealing and to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables. "The additional funding in my amendments will enable a similar campaign to be launched in New Zealand," Ms Kedgley said.

"The Ministry of Health admitted during the Health Select Committee debate on the estimates that no monitoring is being done to ensure there are no illegal GE ingredients in the food supply," she said.

"This means we have no idea whether there are illegal GE ingredients in our food supply or not. Given public concerns about the inadequate testing and safety of GE foods, this is totally unacceptable."

Ms Kedgley's amendments would allow the Ministry to begin work immediately on establishing a robust monitoring and enforcement regime for GE foods, establish a nutrition education programme and to implement a national infectious disease prevention strategy.


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