Fake honey a further blow to New Zealand’s reputation
Fake honey a further blow to New Zealand’s damaged reputation
Warnings from Britain about fake New Zealand manuka honey shows the Ministry for Primary Industries has again failed to protect our producers and assure our export markets, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.
“This is more bad news. New Zealand’s brand reputation is already on the line. The quality of New Zealand products is already in the international spotlight following Fonterra’s botulism contamination.
“Now we have to reassure the world our $120 million a year honey industry is not making misleading or illegal claims about its products.”
The Ministry for Primary Industries should have stepped in before Britain's Food Standards Agency took action, Damien O’Connor says.
“The Ministry just stood by despite the industry acknowledging New Zealand was selling more manuka honey than it produced.”
Labour welcomes moves to test products and establish interim standards, he says.
“This is further evidence the super Ministry – formed last year through the merger of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Fisheries, Biosecurity New Zealand and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority – has failed.
“Food Safety is crucial to New Zealand’s economy. A stand-alone agency must be re-established. That is international best practice and we must match that,” Damien O’Connor says.