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Imported Food Review discussion document released

2 August 2004 Media Statement

Imported Food Review discussion document released

A discussion document on New Zealand’s import regime for food and food-related products and agricultural chemicals is now available for public submissions, Minister for Food Safety Annette King announced today.

The document, released for consultation by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, is the result of a six-month project carried out by external experts who reviewed how the system that regulates these imported products works.

Ms King said the paper discusses the current system and poses questions to stakeholders on issues that were raised throughout the review. “While this work has been progressing for some time, recent events involving a shipment of imported corn show how important the process around importing food and related products is, and I urge people to take this opportunity to have their say,” she said.

The review team spoke to a number of people involved in importing including importers, industry groups and other regulators. Ms King said team leader John Hellstrom now needed to get stakeholder input before the group made any recommendations to the NZFSA.

“We are holding consultation meetings around the country to talk through the document with stakeholders and check that our assessment of the importing system raises issues that are relevant to them,” Hellstrom said. “We also want to get their ideas about if and how to improve the system”.

Ms King said people wanting to put forward their opinions had three options. “Firstly, they can attend the consultation meetings and take part in the discussions. Or, they can download a copy of the document from NZFSA’s website and feed back their ideas through the online questionnaire. And finally, stakeholders can make a written submission.”

Submissions close on 10 September and the final report, which will include any recommendations, is due at the end of November.

ENDS


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