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


Greens shocked by approval for irradiated foods

14 September 2001

Greens shocked by approval for irradiated foods

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today said she was shocked by the decision to allow herbal teas, herbs and spices to be exposed to radiation doses over three times the international safety limit of 10 kilograys.

The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council - including Health Minister Annette King - yesterday approved the irradiation of some herbs, teas and spices.

Irradiation sterilises foods by exposing it to radiation levels up to three million times the strength of a chest X-ray. Most irradiation plants use cobalt 60, a by-product of plutonium to irradiate food.

"Obviously the Ministers are attempting to put the best possible spin on their decision, but the fact is that irradiation is a highly controversial technology which has been rejected by consumers around the world," said Ms Kedgley.

"Consumers don't want to eat food that has been nuked. They want to eat safe, naturally wholesome food. There are a number of safer, environmentally friendly alternatives such as steam sterilisation, oxygen deprivation and temperature control which are already being used to sterilise herbs," she said.

Ms Kedgley said there had been no long-term studies of the safety of irradiated food.

Ms Kedgley said it was ironic that a former Labour government had imposed a moratorium on food irradiation in New Zealand in 1989, and that another Labour Government was ending the moratorium and allowing irradiated food to be sold in New Zealand for the first time.

She said she was extremely concerned that the Ministers were allowing misleading labels to be used to identify herbs, spices and herbal teas that had been irradiated. Companies would be able to say that food had been treated with 'ionising electrons' or with 'ionising radiation.'

"Many consumers will not understand that this means direct exposure to substantial doses of radiation," said Ms Kedgley.

"I fear this will be the first step in a much wider drive to use irradiation technology in food sterilisation. Another application has already been lodged to allow the import and sale in New Zealand of irradiated tropical fruits such as papaya and mango."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mayor of Auckland: Alert Level Change Welcome News

Mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to move Auckland to Level 2 from 6am on Sunday will be welcome news for all Aucklanders.
“Moving strongly and quickly to contain this outbreak has once again proved effective in stopping the spread of community transmission and I thank all the Aucklanders who have followed the rules of Level 3 over the past week,” he says... More>>


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>


Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>

Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels