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Who Decides What We Eat

Who Decides What We Eat

Questions about who decides what we eat and how these decisions are made are becoming increasingly important with every new technological advance in food preparation, says GE Free Canterbury campaigner David Hill.

"Food safety is paramount. So it is important that when we go to the supermarket, we can make an informed choice about the food we're buying. And we need to know who is making those decisions before the food gets on to the supermarket shelf, and how they make those decisions."

Currently those types of decisions are made by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which comprises representatives of the Australian federal government, the eight Australian state governments and the New Zealand government. It is chaired by the Australian federal health minister, and when it comes to voting Australia effectively has nine votes, New Zealand one.

Green MP and safe food spokesperson Sue Kedgley made history earlier this year when she became the first New Zealand MP to give evidence to an Australian senate inquiry. She gave evidence in support of the Truth in Food Labeling Bill.

"Because the New Zealand government has given up our sovereignty over vital issues such as the labeling of GE food, interested MPs such as myself have no choice but to make submissions to the Australian parliament," said Ms Kedgley.

Ms Kedgley will be in Christchurch on Monday May 17 to speak about FSANZ, how it's decisions are made and New Zealand's loss of sovereignty at a public forum at the WEA from 7.30pm. She will be joined by GE Free Zealand spokesperson Claire Bleakley who will speak on New Zealand Food Standards Authority consumer issues. Earlier in the afternoon Ms Kedgley will conduct a shopping tour, "shopping with Sue", at St Martin's New World from 4pm, giving people tips on how to avoid GE.

GE Free Canterbury, the Green Party and KAGE (Kiwis Against GE) will also launch the Christchurch GE Free City petition.

"We plan to use the petition to lobby the city council and the regional council in the lead-up to the local body elections to develop a GE policy for the city and the region which promotes safety in our food and in the environment. The ultimate aim is to keep Christchurch, Canterbury and New Zealand GE Free," Mr Hill said.

"People may well remember that little more than 20 years ago, Christchurch became the first city in this country to become nuclear free and this led to other councils declaring themselves nuclear free, and eventually New Zealand became a nuclear free nation. If we can be nuclear free, we can be GE Free!"


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