Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


New Zealand Food Safety Undermined by Secret Deal with FDA

New Zealand Food Safety Undermined by Secret Deal with FDA

New Zealand's international reputation for safe food is under threat as a result of a secret deal signed last week with the US Food and Drug Administration.

The deal for mutual recognition of food safety regimes is being promoted by government as a 'win' for New Zealand, but appears to be part of a wider agenda to harmonise legislation and allow the smooth signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, aligned to the "one U.S. Government" approach to importation and food safety.

This deal is a dangerous and unprecedented move. It opens up New Zealand’s biosecurity to increased risks, which is the price to pay for delivering what the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) calls a reduction in “regulatory burden for foods traded between the countries”.

Around the world New Zealand's reputation for safe food could be considered to be better than that of the USA, which has a history of political influence and compromise of scientific standards.

It is the FDA which has recently approved GE fish to enter the food chain untested and unlabelled, and which has turned a blind eye to the entry of animal clone meat and milk products into the US food chain. It is the FDA which years ago deliberately ignored the advice of its own scientists by deeming GE foods to be 'substantially equivalent' to normal food so avoiding proper regulation.(3)

The issue of regulation of genetically engineered (GE) foods is dominated by the US in this deal and will now have little if any New Zealand consumer input.

There is now a threat that New Zealand's labelling laws for GE will be 'gone by Christmas'. If the FDA deems a food safe, New Zealand has to accept the ruling and will be forced to allow GE imports of novel GE foods 'gene-stacked' to resist multiple herbicides including 2,4-D.

The deal also hides a serious conflict of interest. The Deputy Commissioner of the FDA is Michael Taylor, was also a lawyer for Monsanto. On his watch all Monsanto GE foods have been deemed safe regardless of the lack of safety data and concerns raised by independent scientists.

The MPI is also highly conflicted, as it has to advance a trade agenda whilst also considering public health and safety.Unfortunately for consumers and for New Zealand's reputation, it will be food safety that is compromised to serve trade interests.

"With the ever-rising problems associated with GE foods and crops the situation is becoming one of the 'fox guarding the chicken house,'" says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ in food and environment.

"New Zealand has in effect just given away its sovereignty, and its control to import foods that can be assured as safe in the long term."

This deal is a nasty surprise for people in New Zealand and for our markets overseas. New Zealand would be better to distance itself from decades of the FDA's scientific compromises, degradation of the integrity of the US food supply, and domination by industry lobbyists.

The deal threatens to increase trade in unregulated, unmonitored and undesirable food products that are already part of the US food landscape.

This deal will not make food safer, but will limit New Zealand's capacity to differentiate our products on the world stage.

[3] Agency Contradicted Own Experts in Approving Genetically Engineered Foods -- Misrepresented Facts in Order to Promote U.S. Biotech Industry http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/GEessays/FDAdocuments.html
http://supermarketnews.com/latest-news/fda-approves-genetically-modified-fish
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22667305/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/fda-says-food-cloned-animals-safe/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news