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Where's the (missing) beef?

Where's the (missing) beef?

New Zealand authorities clearly have no idea where imported beef extracts are ending up, Green MP Sue Kedgley said today.

In Parliament today, Associate Health Minister Damian O'Connor confirmed to Ms Kedgley that New Zealand imported about 100 tonnes of beef fat tallow oil and 250 tonnes of shortening, which might contain beef fat, over the past 18 months.

Mr O'Connor said it was assumed that all the tallow and shortening had been used.

"In other words, they don't know. There's no way they could recall the products even if they wanted to," Ms Kedgley said.

"This is not good enough. It is hugely concerning that the Food Safety Authority doesn't know where Canadian beef extracts have ended up, in light of the Canadian mad cow disease discovery.

"What we do know is that beef fat tallow oil and shortening are used in the food chain, including in cooking products such as fish and chips, and hamburgers. It is totally unsatisfactory that consumers do not know where exactly these products are in the food chain," Ms Kedgley said.

"We urgently need full traceability of food ingredients, and country of origin labelling so consumers can know where the food they are buying and eating comes from, so they can exercise free choice."

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