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Greens call for an end to misleading labelling

8 October 2008

Greens call for an end to misleading labelling

The Green Party is urging New Zealand manufacturers to follow the lead of the makers of Anathoth jams and introduce detailed, accurate country of origin labelling on their products.

MP Sue Kedgley has welcomed a decision by Barker Fruit Processors to specifically name the country of origin of Anathoth jam ingredients - a decision the company says was made in response to overwhelming consumer demand.

"The existing labels simply stated that their jam 'may contain imported or local ingredients'. This did not provide enough information for consumers to make an informed choice, and clearly they did not think this was good enough."

The Green Party has been campaigning for mandatory Country of Origin Labelling on fresh and single component food products however, the Government has steadfastly refused to introduce this.

"The melamine contaminated food scandal had intensified consumers' interest in knowing which country their food comes from, and consumers are telling us they are becoming increasingly annoyed at misleading and meaningless labels such as 'may contain imported or local ingredients'.

"There is no requirement in New Zealand for any retailer or manufacturer to declare where food comes from and, despite the demand from consumers, the Government refuses to make country of origin labelling a regulatory requirement, as it is in most countries overseas.

"So I congratulate Barkers for responding to consumer demand and taking this step, and I hope that other New Zealand manufacturers will follow suit.

"Barkers' decision demonstrates that consumers should keep up the pressure on manufacturers, and on the Government to demand mandatory country of origin labelling. I urge consumers to make their voices heard and write to or call manufacturers of the products they purchase and demand more honest labelling," Ms Kedgley says.


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