Ties To MAF Likely To Compromise New Food Agency
Ties to MAF likely to compromise new food agency - Greens
The Green Party welcomes the intention to establish a new Food Administration Agency with its own Minister and budget, but believes it is a serious mistake to attach the new agency to MAF, Safe Food spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.
"The primary goal of the new agency should be to protect public health from risks which may arise in connection with the consumption of food, and to protect the interests of consumers in relation to food," Ms Kedgley said.
"One its most important functions will be to ensure that consumers have confidence, both here and overseas, in the safety of our food.
"To achieve these objectives, the agency must be seen to be truly independent, and not attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry," she said.
"The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is focused on protecting and promoting our agriculture industries while food safety is principally about protecting the health of consumers."
Ms Kedgley said that the Government had committed itself in its pre-election manifesto to 'setting up a stand alone agency tied neither to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry nor to the Ministry of Health'.
"The Government has compromised on this commitment and gone for the cheaper option of attaching the agency to an existing department. In the process, it may end up compromising the independence and integrity of the new agency."