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Minister-Designate For Food Safety

King Appointed As Minister-Designate For Food Safety

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that Annette King has been appointed Minister-designate for Food Safety, in addition to her existing health and racing portfolios.

The Minister-designate will oversee the establishment of the new New Zealand Food Safety Authority. It will be a semi-autonomous body within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The planned start date for the new agency is 1 July 2002.

Helen Clark said the new authority, a semi-autonomous body within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, will combine the Health Ministry's responsibilities for domestic food safety administration and MAF's responsibilities for primary processing food safety and export assurance.

“The authority, expected to have a budget of up to $60 million, would administer food safety and hygiene matters in production, primary processing, distribution, retail sale, preparation of food for sale, and assurance of food exports.

“It would also coordinate views across the whole of Government and facilitate input from New Zealand into the joint food standard-setting arrangement with Australia.”

Helen Clark said the new portfolio of Minister for Food Safety will be formally established closer to the start date of the new agency.

Until the legislation establishing the Food Safety Authority is established, the Ministers of Health and Agriculture will remain responsible for their respective parts of the food administration system.


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