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


Government failed to rule out back-track on labell

Bunkle The Government is likely to attempt a back-track on its commitment to label genetically engineered foods at an ANSFA meeting on 3rd August, Alliance health spokesperson Phillida Bunkle said today.

Today in Parliament Minister of Health Wyatt Creech failed to rule out a whole or partial back-track on his government's commitment to labelling.

Late last year the Australian and New Zealand Food Authority (ANSFA) agreed under pressure to label all genetically engineered foods. But now Phillida Bunkle says the New Zealand and Australian governments are attempting to find ways to back-track.

Reports in Australian daily newspapers reveal that ANSFA CEO, Ian Lindenmayer has been lobbying to get the decision to fully label, reversed.

'Given this government's reputation for duplicity on this issue, it doesn't surprise me that our government would also be looking for loopholes to get out of their promise to support full labelling.

'In May of last year Official Information documents ! released to the Alliance revealed that the Shipley government tried to pressure Japan not to adopt labelling of GE foods, even though the Prime Minister continues to this day to claim that her Government supports labelling.

'Phillida Bunkle has a letter to the Japanese Government, dated September 9th 1998 and signed by the New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and US embassies.

'This is to inform you of our shared opposition to the possibility that Japan may elect a labelling policy for genetically modified or ganisms which could adversely affect exports of agricultural products to Japan and raise costs to consumers,' the joint embassy letter begins.

In May of this year Mrs Shipley told Parliament that the government supported labelling.

'The Government is committed to making sure that food sold in New Zealand is safe. Consumers need to be informed about what they are eating. In our view all food should be labelled,' she told parliament.

'The Prime Minister revealed then that her assurances in parliament on this issue don't mean much . While she says one thing to the public of New Zealand, she bullies Japan to reject labelling behind closed doors.

'Not only this, other documents obtained under the Official Information Act by the Alliance last year revealed that Associate Minister of Health, John Delemere was clearly instructed to vote against labelling at the December ANSFA meeting, and do all he could to delay a decision.

'For this reason, we must all watch vigilantly on the 3rd of August to see that Mrs Shipley's government doesn't succeed in its efforts to backtrack on this very important issue,' said Phillida Bunkle.Copies of all documents available from Alliance office.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On Reforming Parliament’s Toxic Culture

It would be nice to think Parliament was a forum where rationality ruled – and where policies are raised and evaluated in terms of their contribution to the greater good. Obviously, it isn’t like that... More>>

Historic Assualt Allegation: Parliamentary Service Staff Member Stood Down
Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said today: “I do not want to cut across any employment or possible police investigations, but I am satisfied that the Parliamentary Service has removed a threat to the safety of women working in the Parliamentary complex." More>>


Fatal 2018 Crash: Police Officer Should Not Have Engaged In Pursuit

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that a Police officer should not have tried to stop or pursue a car thought to contain young people in Palmerston North on 28 May 2018. More>>


New Poverty Targets: Goals Overlook 174000 Children In Worst Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group is pleased to see the Government set ambitious 10-year targets for child poverty reduction, but we are disappointed not to see a target set for improving thousands of young lives where the worst of poverty is found. More>>


Study: Guidelines Needed To Avoid Risks In Government AI

New Zealand is a world leader in government algorithm use – but measures are needed to guard against their dangers. This is the conclusion of a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded report from the University of Otago’s Artificial Intelligence and Law in New Zealand Project. More>>


Pike River: Families Welcome Opening Of Drift

The group representing 29 of the Pike River Families - the Pike River Family Reference Group - has welcomed the unsealing of the mine at a private family event this morning... More>>


Auckland Harbour Bridge: New Design For Walking And Cycling Crossing

The NZ Transport Agency has released plans for its preferred option for a shared path over the Auckland Harbour Bridge which will transform walking and cycling not only across the harbour, but throughout the city. The Transport Agency says its preferred ... More>>



Shaw First Reading Speech: Climate Change Response Bill

Madam Speaker, today we begin the task of amending the Climate Change Response Act [2002], to fulfil the commitment that we have made, as a country, to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. More>>


Housing: More Unsold Kiwibuild Houses Bought By Govt

The Crown underwrite for unsold Kiwibuild homes has been triggered for a second time. Now lack of sales in Mike Greer's development in Canterbury and Auckland means the government has had to buy back seven more homes. More>>





InfoPages News Channels