Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Sutton Sabotaging New Zealand's Organic Exporters

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today said he was shocked and disappointed with Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton's comments to international media in which he called into question the safety of organic produce.

Speaking to the BBC World Service Mr Sutton said consumers of organic food were exposed to some danger from natural bio-toxins that were not in conventional produce, and that consumers of organic mushrooms might get e-coli, whereas consumers of mushrooms grown on artificial fertiliser would not.

"Organic farmers who have contacted me about this are absolutely outraged that the Minister responsible for boosting our trade and promoting our agricultural exports is deliberately undermining our organic producers," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"I am astounded that the Minister is using spurious arguments - that naturally produced food which is recognised in global markets as being safe may be harmful to consumers - in comments which discredit our organics industry in the eyes of some of our biggest markets," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said the Minister's comments raised serious questions about his support for the recommendations of the Primary Production Select Committee which saw a bright future for New Zealand organics.

He said that although the Minister may not have been referring specifically to New Zealand's organic produce, he was being interviewed as a representative and ambassador of New Zealand agriculture and trade.

"At a time when the world cannot get enough food that they know is safe and naturally produced and when our organic exports are growing exponentially I cannot understand what the Minister was trying to achieve with his comments.

"The organics industry is already feeling very nervous about the threat to their livelihoods from the release of genetically engineered organisms, as recommended by the Royal Commission, and the Minister's comments amount to little more than a kick in the guts for organic farmers," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"Why instead didn't the Minister seize the opportunity to boost the profile of our organics industry rather than place doubts in consumers' minds over the safety of our exports?"


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels