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Food safety concerns must be taken seriously

1 November 2007

Food safety concerns must be taken seriously this time

Overwhelming public support for food labelling initiatives demonstrates growing concern over the safety of the food in New Zealand and the Government needs to do more to address these concerns, Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

A New Zealand Food Safety Association survey shows that 58 percent of people study ingredient labels, and 62 percent and 56 percent of people are concerned respectively about pesticides use and genetically modified foods.

"These results confirm what the Green Party have been saying all along - that there is growing lack of confidence among New Zealand consumers over food safety issues. Food safety risks such as Campylobacter, pesticide residues, and genetically modified food content is something that New Zealanders take very seriously.

"The very high interest in ingredient labelling shows how important the right to know is to New Zealanders and strengthens the argument for Country of Origin labelling.

"It is now clear to the Government and the NSFSA, as it has been to the Green Party, that New Zealand consumers are concerned about food, what's in it and whether they can have confidence in what they are eating.

"The Government and the Food Safety Authority need to recognise that New Zealand consumers aren't confident in the safety of their food, and that they need to be far more proactive in trying to reduce our exposure to these kinds of risks.

ENDS

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