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Labelling Rules Needed For Pork Hormone

26 May 2002

New Labelling Rules Needed To Deal With Controversial Pork Hormone

Green MP Sue Kedgley today called for new labelling laws requiring pig farmers to declare on a label whether or not they have injected their pigs with a controversial new pig growth hormone, porcine somatotropin or PST.

Ms Kedgley made her comments following a Pork Industry Board's initiative to require pig farmers to declare to retailers whether they had injected their pigs with the new growth hormone.

"The Pork Industry Board initiative is a good first step, but only a label on packets of meat will enable consumers to know whether the pork they buy comes from pigs that have been injected with a pig growth hormone," she said.

Ms Kedgley said most consumers were repelled by the idea of consuming pork from pigs that have been injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone right up until the time of slaughter, particularly when this hormone has not even been approved by the US FDA.

There were a range of serious animal welfare concerns about its use, she said.

Ms Kedgley said it was outrageous that the Government had allowed the growth hormone to be imported and sold in New Zealand in secret, without any public consultation, and before a labelling regime, or even a system of monitoring the controversial drug, was in place.

It was also outrageous that the Minister for Agriculture did not even know how many farmers were using the controversial hormone, or where their meat was being sold.


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