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


Kedgley calls for lead-contaminated inquiry

Kedgley calls for inquiry into lead-contaminated flour

Green MP Sue Kedgley is calling for an inquiry into why 45 tonnes of imported cornflour contaminated with more than 100 times the safe level of lead was allowed into our food supply and how the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) has handled the issue.

“We need to find out whether this contaminated corn is the tip of the iceberg, whether further shiploads have entered the New Zealand food supply and why it is that we do not routinely test such staple food products for heavy metal and pesticide contamination,” said Ms Kedgley, the Green Party Safe Food Spokesperson.

“Finding lead contamination 100 times higher than our legal limits in a staple product like cornflour is an extremely serious breach of our regulations. Given that the Food Safety Authority issued a mandatory recall of 700 dietary supplements earlier this year following the Pan fiasco, when it was not certain there was an actual risk to human health or not, their response to this serious, incontestable food safety scare seems totally inadequate.

“The discovery should have triggered a mandatory recall of all potentially affected products and the public should have been fully informed immediately. Curiously, the Authority has not even issued a media release on this extremely serious food safety breach, or informed the public which food products, other than Robinson’s Egg Custard, the contaminated flour was used in.

“They did issue a media release on 16 July stating that the Total Diet Survey showed the “average New Zealand diet presents no chemical residue concerns.” Since then they have remained completely silent over this major contamination that was discovered during testing for the very same survey, putting the lie to their public relations spin.”

Ms Kedgley said she was dumbfounded by the bland reassurances of Food Safety Authority spokesperson Tim Knox on TV1 last night that such extraordinarily high lead levels “did not pose an immediate threat” to consumers and that long-term exposure was required before it caused health effects.

“Lead is a highly toxic heavy metal which accumulates in the body and can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system and the brain. Children are especially sensitive to the effects of even low levels of lead poisoning, let alone this degree of contamination. How can we have confidence in a regulatory agency that appears so blasé about such a serious breach of food safety?

Ms Kedgley said she wanted questions answered as to what environmental or other factors caused the imported corn to be so seriously contaminated with lead in the first place and whether other food imports could be similarly affected.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news