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Seafood Industry Concerned At MP Maligning Seafood


New Zealand Seafood Industry Council chief executive Dr John Valentine said today that the industry was concerned about the misleading picture that Green activist and MP Sue Kedgley painted about the results of a Total Diet Survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health.

The mercury levels in some fish have come under fire from Ms Kedgley. It must be recognised that the Maximum Residual Level (MRL) of mercury for New Zealand is half the recommended Codex MRL. Codex is the internationally recognised body that that sets global food standards.

“One of New Zealand’s food icons, the Bluff oyster, also took a battering in the Ministry’s this survey for its reported high levels of cadmium. Despite the spectre of cadmium ingestion via oysters being raised from time to time there is no evidence that the consumption of oysters is in anyway harmful.”

“In fact a World Health survey in 1992 concluded the human absorption of cadmium from eating Bluff oysters was minimal.”

“The same TDS survey also notes concern about the low levels of iodine in our diets. Oysters are known for their high iodine content and have always been considered to be a great natural source of this essential dietary element.”

“The industry is also deeply concerned about the inference that this information has in some way been withheld. The information is and always has been freely available from the Health Department.”

“What New Zealanders need to remember is that our seafood is arguably the finest in the world and is essential and nutritious staple of the healthy kiwi diet,” Dr Valentine said.


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