Parliament

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

 

Briefing to incoming minister ignores consumers

11 December 2008
NZFSA briefing to incoming minister ignores consumers


The New Zealand Food Safety Authority has capitalised on the change of government and a new Minister with no background in food issues to quietly ditch all pretence of assisting consumers to make informed purchasing decisions about food, the Green Party says.

That was part of their original mandate, but under pressure from consumers over Country of Origin labelling the NZFSA's new mandate shows they have taken a hard line, making no mention of this role, Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The briefing paper puts the NZFSA Consumers' Forum on Food Safety at the top if its list of 'key domestic relationships' yet fails to acknowledge that the Forum, along with tens of thousands of consumers have consistently and repeatedly asked the government to institute mandatory country of origin labelling.

"Its time NZFSA stepped out of the Country of Origin Labelling debate and stopped preventing consumers having the right to know where their food comes from. Contrary to what NZFSA says, CoOL is not a commercial decision: it is not adequately regulated by the Fair Trading Act, as the Health Select Committee recently learned, and voluntary CoOL introduced by a few shops is often patchy, inconsistent and wrong.

"It is also high time that the NZFSA and the new government took action to ban the hormone disrupting chemical Bisphenol A, at the very least, from baby bottles. The paper acknowledges that Canada has taken this action. Bisphenol A is a chemical that leaches out of the polycarbonate plastic some baby bottles are made from and the white lining in many food cans. The paper fails to inform the new Minister of the potential risks of this substance, which include impaired brain development, premature puberty, breast cancer and prostate cancer. New studies also link it to diabetes and heart disease.

"It is not good enough that the NZFSA is simply 'maintaining a close watch on developments in the data and is ready to recommend appropriate action if necessary.' Action is necessary - it is long overdue, the new Government must take this opportunity to act swiftly for the sake of all New Zealanders.

"The briefing paper also tells the minister 'if food derived from cloned animals or their offspring ever enters the food chain, there is no need for specific regulation as these foods would be subject to general safety requirements under existing legislation'.

"Once again NZFSA is trying to deny consumers the right to important information about the food they eat. Whether or not there are any health issues relating to cloned meat has not been properly established, but there certainly are ethical issues - even the briefing acknowledges that the cloning can have negative effects on the health of the animals. Consumers have a right to make purchasing decisions based on ethical considerations just as much as they do on health considerations."

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Another Leader Exiting: Statement From Peter Dunne

I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter...

“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election