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 The Panic In The Pacific Over China

For years, it has been no secret that China wants closer security and trade ties with the small nations of the Pacific region. All part of Beijing’s self-image as a global superpower. To that end this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on an unprecedented 10-day tour of the Pacific, aimed at convincing his Pacific hosts to join a cross-Pacific agreement that would let Beijing provide them with high-level police training and security, shared data co-operation and other joint services ranging from agriculture to tourism...


Crime: Govt Helps Protect Shops From Ram Raids

The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says... More>>

Government: Investment Boosts Coastal Shipping In Aotearoa
New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today... More>>

Government: New Zealand To Stay At Orange For Now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>

Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>

National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>




InfoPages News Channels