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Meathead Minister’s deregulation disaster

Damien
O’Connor
Primary Industries Spokesperson
20 February 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Meathead Minister’s deregulation disaster

Contaminated meat leaving processing factories is the last thing the under pressure meat industry needs at the moment, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“An investigation by Metro magazine has exposed that seven meat consignments were refused entry to the US market because they did not meet the import requirement of zero faecal requirements.

“The National Government’s decision to deregulate meat inspection in 2011 has contributed to a lowering of the standards that has led to these market problems as happened with the Australian and Canadian meat industries.

“Self-regulation has had disastrous consequences across the New Zealand economy, from mining to electricity to health and safety. The National Government’s philosophical approach to deregulation is exposing one of the largest primary sectors to reputational damage.

“Labour has committed to separate out food safety from Ministry of Primary Industries.

“Minister Nikki Kaye needs to provide an explanation as to why MPI has failed to ensure adequate standards of food safety and regulation across all the export sectors, especially after meat was left on Chinese wharves last year.

“The minister must beef up the system,” Damien O’Connor says.

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