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Ingham's "chicken surprise" unwelcome

Ingham's "chicken surprise" unwelcome

Green MP Sue Kedgley is calling for an urgent audit of Inghams' poultry company, after tests have revealed it is selling frozen chicken products contaminated with GE ingredients, without any label to declare their presence.

Ms Kedgley is also calling on the Food Safety Authority to refer the GE contamination case to the Commerce Commission, for investigation under the Fair Trading Act.

"Inghams has breached New Zealand's GE labelling laws, which require that any product containing genetically engineered DNA or protein must be labelled," she said.

"The FSA audit needs to investigate why and how this has contamination happened, and should include an investigation of the traceability and audit systems in place in the company."

Greenpeace revealed today that an Ingham's filled and crumbed chicken product tested positive for GE soy ingredients, in tests undertaken by AgriQuality on behalf of Greenpeace. Earlier this year, Greenpeace also alerted the public that Inghams, an Australian-owned chicken company, imports GE soy to New Zealand to feed its chickens.

Ms Kedgley said the Greenpeace discovery highlighted the inadequacy of the Food Safety Authority's GE monitoring and surveillance programme.

The GM Compliance Project should have picked this up, Ms Kedgley said. "Unfortunately the programme is woefully inadequate and tests only a small number of products."

The 18-month GM Compliance Project arose out of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, and is part of New Zealand's so-called GM food labelling standard. It was launched in October last year.

"Ingham's unwanted "chicken surprise" today will leave consumers wondering how many other ingredients containing GE ingredients are present in our food chain and supermarkets - undeclared and unlabelled," Ms Kedgley said.


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