Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Sutton Sabotaging New Zealand's Organic Exporters

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today said he was shocked and disappointed with Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton's comments to international media in which he called into question the safety of organic produce.

Speaking to the BBC World Service Mr Sutton said consumers of organic food were exposed to some danger from natural bio-toxins that were not in conventional produce, and that consumers of organic mushrooms might get e-coli, whereas consumers of mushrooms grown on artificial fertiliser would not.

"Organic farmers who have contacted me about this are absolutely outraged that the Minister responsible for boosting our trade and promoting our agricultural exports is deliberately undermining our organic producers," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"I am astounded that the Minister is using spurious arguments - that naturally produced food which is recognised in global markets as being safe may be harmful to consumers - in comments which discredit our organics industry in the eyes of some of our biggest markets," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said the Minister's comments raised serious questions about his support for the recommendations of the Primary Production Select Committee which saw a bright future for New Zealand organics.

He said that although the Minister may not have been referring specifically to New Zealand's organic produce, he was being interviewed as a representative and ambassador of New Zealand agriculture and trade.

"At a time when the world cannot get enough food that they know is safe and naturally produced and when our organic exports are growing exponentially I cannot understand what the Minister was trying to achieve with his comments.

"The organics industry is already feeling very nervous about the threat to their livelihoods from the release of genetically engineered organisms, as recommended by the Royal Commission, and the Minister's comments amount to little more than a kick in the guts for organic farmers," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Why instead didn't the Minister seize the opportunity to boost the profile of our organics industry rather than place doubts in consumers' minds over the safety of our exports?"

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news