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


Need for mandatory country of origin labelling

6 December 2007

Survey shows need for mandatory country of origin labelling

A Green Party survey has highlighted the urgent need for mandatory country of origin labelling - a move supported by a 39,000-signature petition presented to Parliament today.

"Consumers are in the dark about where most of their food comes from," Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley, who presented the petition, says.

Seventy-five percent of fresh and single component foods surveyed last week did not identify any country of origin, either on the product or on point of sale material.

The survey, of selected fresh and single component foods sold in supermarkets and independent food retailers, found meat and fish were least likely to be labelled. None of the meat had any country of origin labelling and only one out of the nine seafood products surveyed did.

Ms Kedgley said her petition showed there was overwhelming support for mandatory country of origin labelling. So did the fact that a broad coalition of organisations, ranging from producer boards, consumer groups, unions and professional organisations supported her call for mandatory country of origin labelling.

"The Government has tried to justify its obdurate refusal to introduce mandatory country of origin food labelling by arguing that manufacturers and retailers would do it voluntarily. This survey shows that this is not happening, and that regulation is essential to make it mandatory for fresh foods.

"Last year we imported around 1.5 million tonnes of food, but it is virtually impossible for consumers to work out where it has all gone. For example, about 96 percent of shrimps and prawns are imported - and yet the survey showed all were unlabelled.

"Many consumers want to support local producers by purchasing New Zealand made food. Others have concerns about the inadequate safety standards in some countries. Many imported foods have been fumigated with methyl bromide or may contain pesticides or additives that consumers may want to avoid.

"While I am pleased that Foodstuffs' supermarkets had made a commitment to label fruit and vegetables, there are more than 1000 independent food retailers in New Zealand, and the survey showed that most small retailers provide little or no country of origin labelling.

"Expecting retailers and manufacturers to provide country of origin information voluntarily is simply not working. The Government needs to listen to New Zealanders and institute a mandatory regime."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Now-Former Cyclone: States of Emergency Declared

A state of emergency has been declared in Buller, Greymouth and Christchurch, with fears some homes are at a high risk of flooding over the next day.

High tides overnight were likely to bring large waves to Kaikōura and Christchurch about 9pm, and to Taranaki, Kāpiti and Nelson about 2am.

The latest severe weather update has upgraded watches for heavy rain in Christchurch, Banks Peninsula and North Otago to full warnings...More>>


Kauri Protection: Waitākere Forest Closure Proposed

At the 20 February meeting of the Environment and Community Committee, the council proposed to close the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, with some exceptions, by 1 May 2018. More>>


'Hit And Run' Raid: NZDF Had Reports Of Civilian Casualties

The NZDF received intelligence updates within one or two days of the August 2010 SAS raid in Afghanistan that reported civilian casualties, including the death of a child, new OIA documents reveal... it appears they did not bother to investigate nor made any effort to help the victims. More>>


Christchurch Public Meeting: Complete U-Turn By Labour And NZ First On TPP

The TPP might have been re-branded as the CPTPP but it's still the same bad deal says Professor Jane Kelsey, New Zealand's expert on international economic regulation. More>>


Commerce, Etc: Thicker Bright Line For Real Estate

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.More>>


Prison Inspections: Reports on Manawatu and Paremoremo Released

The Office of the Inspectorate today released reports into Manawatu Prison and Auckland Prison (Paremoremo), the first two resulting from a programme of inspections of New Zealand prisons. More>>

Whistle Blowers: Government To Review Law On Protection

Work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. More>>





Featured InfoPages