Right to Know Bill good for people and planet
Auckland, 12 April, 2006:
Greenpeace today urged the public and all political parties to support Sue Kedgley's "Consumer right to know" labelling bill.
"Labelling of where food comes from and what went into making it is the beginning of the most basic consumer information on food," says Greenpeace Campaigner Steve Abel. "Such information will help the public do right by the environment because it gives people a clear choice."
For example, buying local food is an excellent way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that are caused by transporting food. Without country of origin labelling consumers don't know if their tomatoes or ham has come from the other side of the world or just up the road.
Reducing carbon dioxide is crucial to stopping catastrophic climate change impacts – the biggest environmental problem facing the world today.
Likewise avoiding GE crop derived foods means avoiding the excess use of herbicide and the potential risks to the environment and health associated with GE crops.
"For six years Greenpeace has produced a GE Free Food Guide in an attempt to fill the gap left by New Zealand's inadequate GE food labelling laws," says Abel. This bill would bring GE labelling into line with European standards and give consumers what they should have had the right to know all along.
Proper labelling of GE also gives due credit to the majority of food companies that have already eliminated GE derived ingredients and forces the GE industry to stand by it's products instead of sneaking it into our food without a label.