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Labelling Bill Boomerangs Across The Tasman

20 November, 2003

Kedgley's labelling bill boomerangs across the Tasman

Green MP Sue Kedgley's private member's bill on mandatory labelling of all GE ingredients in food is to be investigated by the body with more influence over New Zealand's labelling laws than our Parliament - the Australian Senate.

Ms Kedgley's private members bill was eagerly seized-on by Australian Green Senator Bob Brown who introduced it into the Australian Senate, where it has now been selected for a Senate inquiry.

"It is bizarre that we are forced to make submissions to an overseas country to try to get something as basic as decent GE food labelling here in New Zealand," said Ms Kedgley. "Yet that is the reality of the decision by successive governments to cede our sovereignty over key food issues to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

"If this bill goes through the Senate, then the Australian-dominated FSANZ will be obliged to amend its labelling code to provide mandatory labelling of all GE ingredients in food - and that would be binding on New Zealand!

"Despite the absurdity of the situation, we are grateful that our fellow Green, Australian Senator Bob Brown, has succeeded in getting an almost identical version of my private members bill investigated," said Ms Kedgley. "This is a marvellous example of Trans-Tasman Green cooperation."

Ms Kedgley is calling on New Zealanders to send submissions to the Australian Senate inquiry and said she would be travelling to Canberra to make an oral submission herself.

Written submissions should be lodged with the Selection of Bills Committee by Friday, 6 February 2004. Emails (with submissions as attached documents) can be sent to: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au or faxed to 0061 02 6277 5829.

ENDS

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