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Greens launch Food Revolution

7 June, 2004

Greens launch Food Revolution

The Green Party is launching a revolution in food today.

Green MP Sue Kedgley today launched the Join the Food Revolution campaign, a comprehensive multimedia effort that aims to encourage New Zealanders to insist on our right to know what's in the food we eat and where it comes from.

It also aims to make changes to our food supply so that all food sold in New Zealand is SAFE - Sustainably produced, Accurately labelled, Free of drugs, disease and contamination and Ethically marketed.

Ms Kedgley, the Green Party spokesperson for Food Safety, said it was high time the Government took the views of New Zealanders on food seriously - despite overwhelming support by Kiwis for Country of Origin Labelling of imported food, the Government has actively campaigned behind the scenes to deny us that right.

"It's sickening to think that our Government would want to deny New Zealanders the right to know and the right to choose what food they want to eat," said Ms Kedgley. "We should be able to know where our food comes from, what's in it, and under what conditions it was produced.

"For example, we simply can't tell in many supermarkets whether the garlic we buy is produced in New Zealand or has travelled 10,000 kilometres from China and has been fumigated with methyl bromide.

"Without that basic freedom of information, we may as well be comparing apples with oranges," she said.

Ms Kedgley said the campaign represents a pulling-together of significant food concerns, such as animal welfare, GE Free, Country of Origin Labelling, fair trade and halting the routine feeding of antibiotics to factory-farmed animals.

"New Zealanders want proper GE labelling, they want to know where their food comes from, an end to animal cruelty in rearing food and an end to the routine feeding of antibiotics to animals that aren't sick.

"The continuous feeding of antibiotics represents a serious threat to the greatest medical advance of the 20th century, as this leads to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To get the greatest benefit from antibiotics they must be used sparingly - but many farmers are compromising this by using antibiotics indiscriminantly.

"We want democracy and sovereignty returned to our food supply, so that the consumer's right to know what is in their food and where it comes from is accepted as a fundamental consumer right. Consumers' rights should no longer be subordinated to industry and trade demands," said Ms Kedgley.


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