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Would you like fries with your GE?

17 September, 2003
Would you like fries with your GE?

Green MP Sue Kedgley has taken the Food Safety Authority to task for going too slow on a fast food, takeaway and restaurant GE labelling regime despite the urging of the Royal Commission that it be given a fast track.

Ms Kedgley, the Green spokesperson for Food Safety, said the Authority had done absolutely nothing to require food outlets to disclose the GE content of their foods to customers despite the Royal Commission recommendation (8.3) urging it "as a matter of priority".

"The Government is ploughing full-steam ahead into GE yet the agency charged with informing New Zealand consumers about the food they eat has done nothing to fulfil its obligations," said Ms Kedgley.

"The Food Safety Authority has failed the vast majority of New Zealanders who want the right to say no to genetically engineered food.

"New Zealanders buy nearly a quarter of their food at restaurants and takeaways. As this proportion is constantly increasing it is becoming absolutely essential that people are adequately informed whether their food is cooked with genetically engineered oils or contaminated by GE ingredients.

"It is completely illogical that food available at a supermarket is required to declare some of its GE ingredients but identical food available from a restaurant or takeaway bar is not."

Ms Kedgley said this is yet another example that proves the Government and its agencies are woefully unprepared to lift the GE moratorium.

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"The Food Safety Authority is doing a dismal job of fulfilling its obligations to inform consumers about the food we eat, including failing to name the infant formulas on sale in New Zealand that were all found to be contaminated with GE material.

"The Government seems to be oblivious to the sheer weight of opinion among New Zealanders that we are simply not ready to embark down the GE path.

"It makes you wonder who is pulling the Government's strings with this headlong rush into GE with mere lip service being paid to the safeguards promised to assist those who wish to keep a GE-free diet," said Ms Kedgley.


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