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NZFSA review reveals gaping holes

29 April 2008

NZFSA review reveals gaping holes

Stuart Slorach's review of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority published today shows systemic failure in the organisation, Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says.

"Although written diplomatically, its sweeping recommendations reveal gaping holes in the way the NZFSA operates and assesses food safety risks," Ms Kedgley says.

"The report confirms our earlier criticism of the way NZFSA handled the A1/A2 milk issue, and that statements made by the authority were incorrect. While silent on any motives behind these significant lapses, Dr Slorach implies that the entire issue was badly mishandled. This is an understatement, from our point our point of view.

"In particular, it highlights the secrecy surrounding the way the NZFSA operates, and its failure to adopt a precautionary approach to food safety, and the lack of priority it gives to risks from environmental contaminants, pesticide and veterinary drug residues and other chemical hazards.

Dr Slorach urges the authority to publicise foods that have been rejected at the border and refused entry into New Zealand - instead of keeping this information secret as the authority does at the moment, and to publicise the results of inspections of food business operations and other activities. The Greens strongly agree with these recommendations.

The Party also supports Dr Slorach's recommendations that the precautionary principle to be incorporated into New Zealand food law and the way it operates.


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