Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Subway shambles shows why moratorium must stay

Subway shambles shows why moratorium must stay

New Zealand is about to commit export-suicide, Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons warned today, in the wake of the latest GE scandal to rock our food industry.

Up to 120 Subway sandwich stores around Tokyo have closed their doors after a GE enzyme was discovered in dough imported from the New Zealand bakers, Yarrows. It is the second New Zealand GE export scandal to hit Japan in the last four months.

"Our image with Japanese consumers as a supplier of fresh, clean, safe food is plummeting," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Concerned New Zealanders have been telling the Government for years that our reputation - and our most lucrative export markets - cannot survive official indifference to the presence of GE ingredients in our food.

"I don't blame Yarrows for this mess: I blame the lack of any proper law requiring labelling and traceability of food imports to New Zealand. They have simply been caught by a lack of New Zealand rules to protect them and their markets.

"To argue that this not a GE release and therefore has nothing to do with lifting the moratorium misses the point. This episode has everything to do with our lax regulatory systems. Lifting the moratorium will only increase the likelihood of this sort of thing happening more often.

"It is extremely disturbing that the Government is taking so long to produce information to reassure New Zealand consumers, let alone our foreign markets. For starters: what is the name of this enzyme? Is the dough sent to Japan also sold here? Is it approved for sale in New Zealand?

"And if it is approved for sale here but not in Japan, what is it that the Japanese know about it that we don't? What we do know is that food processing additives like enzymes don't have to be labelled, so New Zealanders don't know whether they are eating them or not

"The regulatory regime is a shambles yet in at midnight on Wednesday this Government will press ahead and lift the moratorium," said Ms Fitzsimons. "If this is the way the Government handles routine food ingredients now, why should we believe they are ready to handle GE release?

"I can only repeat the words of Yarrows' owner, himself a GE sceptic before this disaster hit his business: 'In three days a very significant thing is going to happen in New Zealand. We don't know enough about it.'"


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election