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Donald invites King to lunch

5 June 2002

Donald invites King to lunch

Green co-leader Rod Donald will invite Health Minister Annette King to a hemp pasta and salad lunch in parliament next week to discuss the stupidity of an Australia New Zealand Food Authority decision banning the use of hemp based food products.

"I would like Mrs King to discuss this decision with me over a bowl of hemp pasta and salad drizzled with hemp oil. If the Minister ends up dancing on the table and asking for seconds and thirds I will concede she is right. If not, I want her to tell her ANZFA counterparts that New Zealand will not abide by this decision."

Hemp seed oil is widely used around the world as a health food. It is an excellent source of unsaturated fats, is rich in omega three, six and nine and contains no psychoactive chemicals.

"It is intensely frustrating for the Greens that the Government has voted against approving hemp products as a novel food because there is no standard regulating the levels of THC that a product can contain when the Government has stalled Nandor's members bill for 12 months which tries to set those standards.

"There is Green legislation in parliament right now which maps the way forward for the Government on this issue, if only they would progress it," said Mr Donald.

"This decision is just crazy given that the Government has recently approved trials of hemp in New Zealand. On one hand Government has encouraged people to invest time and money setting up a hemp industry in New Zealand and on the other they appear to be killing off any hope of getting it off the ground.

"This decision puts New Zealand at odds with the rest of the world, particularly Europe and North America, where hemp seed products are common and widely used.

"New Zealand should not have to play by Aussie rules, especially when the decisions are based on such poor information and twisted logic," he said.

Mr Donald recently returned from Canada where he bought a range of hemp products including pasta, oil, food bars and roast seeds.

"Is somebody going to confiscate these when the new rules take effect on December 20?" he asked.

ENDS


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