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Inquiry needed over beef export contamination

Paul Hutchison MP National Party Food Safety Spokesman

22 November 2005

Inquiry needed over beef export contamination

An inquiry is needed to find out why the New Zealand Food Safety Authority failed to detect export beef contaminated with a pesticide toxic to humans, says National's Food Safety spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

The key functions of the NZFSA are to protect and promote public health and safety and to facilitate market access for New Zealand food and food-related products.

"Food Safety Minister Annette King has refused to answer questions from the media on a matter which is crucial to our export industry and which has resulted in the loss of a valuable contract to the South Korean military," says Dr Hutchison.

Taiwan, Europe, the USA and Japan also received potentially contaminated meat. The issue was headline news on Taiwanese television.

"While the NZFSA has been shown to have good traceability systems for New Zealand beef products, it is of huge concern that they failed to detect endosulfan in New Zealand.

"A large number of farmers are angry about the situation, and Ms King and the NZFSA must answer their concerns," says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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