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


Aussie PM trying to scuttle GE food labelling

New Zealand must not allow itself to be bullied by Australian Prime Minister John Howard over labelling genetically engineered food, the Green Party said today.

"News I have just had from Australia is that the Australian Prime Minister, Mr Howard, is trying to overturn the transtasman health ministers' proposal for full, mandatory labelling of all GE foods," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

The ministers, including New Zealand Health Minister Wyatt Creech, are meeting today in Canberra to decide on a labelling regime.

"It seems Mr Howard is making comments on the basis of an unsubstantiated, secret, KPMG report. This report is in turn based solely on agrifood industry figures that say the labelling, monitoring and testing of GE foods is too expensive," Ms Kedgley said. "New Zealand, today, must resist the pressure and insist on full mandatory labelling of all GE foods, to rebuild public confidence in food regulation. Also, the KPMG disinformation document should be released now so it can be judged in the court of public opinion, not behind closed doors."

Ms Kedgley said the Australian Food and Grocery Council has claimed labelling will cost an incredible $3 billion in year one and $1.5 billion in later years. KPMG reports it has not been able to independently verify these figures. "Consumers will not be fooled by these industry claims," Ms Kedgley said.

"The health ministers' responsibility is to protect consumers' health and safety, not be fooled by industry scare campaigns. In the UK where labelling is now required, the cost is not even an issue according to the London Food Commission and other consumer organisations." Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said the fuss by the food industry over "genetically engineered" labels was ridiculous considering there was little problem in listing other product ingredients.

"It would be particularly cowardly if the ministers and our food officials now took heed of the last-ditch spoiling efforts of the Grocery Industry Council which has already distributed pro-genetic engineering pamphlets using the language of Monsanto," Ms Fitzsimons said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Principals' Federation:
End Of National Standards

Today the Minister of Education announced that the Government has stopped the controversial National Standards system of assessment and declared them an arbitrary measure which did not raise children's achievement as the previous Government intended.

"This is such a win for all the principals who never believed in national standards and who, for the past decade, have argued for what is morally right for our nation's young people and their learning," said Cormick. More>>


Public Good: People’s Report On Public Broadcasting And Media Presented

The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media, was crowdfunded and was informed by an extensive consultation, seeking the views of both those working in Media as well as gathering input both online and in person from ordinary Citizens. More>>


RBNZ To RNZB: PM's Press Conference

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern was joined by Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Minister for Children Tracey Martin to announce the appointment of Adrian Orr as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank and the name change of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children to ‘Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children’. More>>


'Taming Globalised Capital': Why Is Labour Supporting Investment Rules In WTO?

‘Today, we learned the new government has added New Zealand’s name to a proposal designed to lead to foreign investment rules in the WTO at this week’s ministerial meeting in Argentina,’ said Auckland University Professor Jane Kelsey. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government… More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>





Featured InfoPages