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Urgent inquiry into counterfeit pesticides needed

16 June 2008
Urgent inquiry into counterfeit pesticides needed

The Green Party is calling for an independent and public investigation of allegations that counterfeit pesticides are being widely imported and used in New Zealand, and for a significant increase in testing to detect for illegal or counterfeit pesticides.

TV1 news reported last night that the use of counterfeit pesticides could be rife in New Zealand following an Auckland businessman being charged with illegally importing and selling pesticides in New Zealand.

"These are very serious allegations which will further undermine consumer confidence in the safety of their food," Green Party MP Sue Kedgley says.

"It is essential that a thorough investigation is initiated into how these counterfeit pesticides were imported into New Zealand in the first place, and why they were not picked up at the border; and why the New Zealand Food Safety Authority is not routinely monitoring for illegal chemicals.

"The truth is that we have no idea how widespread this practice is, or whether it is only the tip of the iceberg. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority seems to have no system in place to prevent this happening, or to pick it up if it does happen.

"If consumers are to have confidence in the safety of our food, we need assurances that there are robust measures in place to prevent the use of counterfeit or illegal pesticides by unscrupulous operators," Ms Kedgley says.


ENDS

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