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Therapeutics Campaign Needs to Push Further

Soil & Health Association of New Zealand

(Est. 1941)
Publishers of ORGANIC NZ

17 July 2007

Successful Therapeutics Campaign Needs to Push Further.

The success of the community in stalling the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill needs to be extended to rolling back Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) decisions allowing risky additives in food, according to the Soil & Health Asociation.

The Government admitted yesterday that it currently could not get the Therapeutics Bill through Parliament. This comes at a time when there are big questions about the decision by FSANZ allowing the artificial sweetener Aspartame into the food chain, and when the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is unable to control a baby food manufacturer's use of unassessed additives.

"Soil & Health congratulates the thousands of therapeutic products consumers and producers who signed our petition opposing a trans-Tasman agency that would have regulated natural products and supplements," said Soil & Health spokesperson Steffan Browning.

"Agencies such as FSANZ and NZFSA appear to operate mostly to facilitate trade, and there is good cause for consumers to resist another such agency."

"Soil & Health will this morning welcome international anti-aspartame campaigner Betty Martini to New Zealand, highlighting products such as Aspartame, NutraSweet, Equal, E951, Canderel and Benevia, that have been criticised for a range of serious health ailments but have been allowed through FSANZ into widespread New Zealand use."

Food Standards Australia New Zealand sets food standards for both countries, and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority monitors food to those standards.

"Soil & Health is also concerned that another sweetener additive has been included in baby food by international company Nutricia without the required safety assessment. NZFSA is not even insisting on withdrawal of the product, which shows the legislative flaws," said Mr Browning, "I expect that FSANZ will push the baby food additive (fructo-oligosaccharide -fos) through an assessment process, as the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has already given it a tick, and if the corrupted FDA says its fine, invariably so does the trans-Tasman agency FSANZ."

"While 'fos' is often derived for supplement use from natural chicory root, large commercial operations like Nutricia often use the cheap and questionable genetically engineered form. New Zealanders need agencies that reflect deep caution over GE and baby foods and proven risky food additives."

"The success of consumers against the Therapeutics Bill must be rewarded with a New Zealand regulatory system that reflects the low risk of most natural products, but uses effective precaution and genuine independent research, in decisions about the synthetic food ingredients that international big business pushes," said Mr Browning.

Soil & Health has a vision of an Organic 2020, free of risky synthetic and GE food ingredients.

ENDS

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