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Ensuring Food Safety Is Important

25 June 2001

”People have the right to know the food they are eating is safe, says Acting Health Minister Tariana Turia.

In response to a factually inaccurate statement by National Consumer Affairs spokesperson Marie Hasler, Acting Health Minister Tariana Turia said the Ministry of Health had not proposed a complete ban on the importation of soy sauce.

"In no way has the Ministry of Health suggested a complete ban on the importation of soy sauce, Marie Hasler has her facts wrong.

"Those brands that have been identified as 'non-compliant with United Kingdom food requirements' are being removed from the shelves in New Zealand as we speak. While we do carry some brands identified, none of the specifically identified batches have been found in New Zealand as yet.

"The Ministry has sent a letter to importers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of soy sauce products to inform them of the steps being taken and the steps they need to take.

"I stand by the decision of the Minister and Ministry of Health to fully inform the public of our concerns over soy sauce.

"I believe it is better to be cautious and inform the public, than to deny them access to this information.

"Food safety is an issue that should not be subjected to politicing" Tariana Turia said.


The letter is on the Ministry website at: http://www.moh.govt.nz/

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