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


Nuked mangoes slipping through MAF's back door

Nuked mangoes slipping through MAF's back door

Green MP Sue Kedgley alleged today that an important document that would permit irradiated Australian mangoes into New Zealand is being hidden from the public.

In response to a written question from Ms Kedgley, the Minister of Agriculture said a draft import health standard to permit irradiated mangoes to enter New Zealand was "in the public domain for consultation".

However, the document appears only to have been published on MAF's website. "Putting a document on the website does not constitute public consultation, especially on something as important as the importation of irradiated food into New Zealand," said Ms Kedgley, the Green spokesperson for Food Safety.

"The Ministry of Agriculture's public consultation process doesn't seem to involve bothering to inform the public - while quietly preparing to receive shipments of irradiated fruit that could devastate our horticulture.

"MAF's consultation process is a sham. It seems that when it comes to food, this Government doesn't want the public to know what they're eating."

Ms Kedgley said it was absurd that the Government is about to allow irradiated mangoes to be imported here when we are already importing non-irradiated mangoes from other parts of the world, and when there are other successful heat treatments for mangoes that did not require irradiation.

Ms Kedgley warned that importing mangoes from fruit-fly infested Queensland could devastate New Zealand's horticulture industry. * Irradiation might not kill all the insects or their larvae, although it should ensure the remaining ones are unable to breed. However intentional or not, the importation of sterile fruit flies could be a breach of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO). * The risk of importing 10 species of fruit-fly and 44 other quarantine pests along with the mangoes was significant in the event that irradiation machinery failed: a failure of a machine to irradiate screw worm in Mexico caused the release of four million live male worms that killed 500 cattle.

"Imagine the devastation if some viable fruit-fly or any of the other 44 quarantine pests associated with mangoes slipped through as a result of a bad day at the Australian food-nuking plant," said Ms Kedgley.

"Why does MAF seem so eager to import irradiated mango from Queensland, otherwise known as the fruit-fly capital of the world, when there are perfectly satisfactory alternatives available?" she asked.

"Have we been forced to accept these Australian mangoes because we were outvoted on Food Standards Australia New Zealand Council?"

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels