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Corngate Report Disappointing

19 October 2004

Corngate Report Disappointing

New Zealand First says it is disappointing that after many months of inquiry aided by expert evidence, the local government and environment select committee was not able to reach any conclusion about suspected contaminated corn, discovered in late November 2000.

“Despite the extensive inquiry, the committee could not determine the nature of all relevant data, and in particular was unable to view relevant test results,” said environment spokesperson Jim Peters.

“There was also a disturbing lack of record of a key meeting and key conversations.

“Most disappointing of all was that despite the National Government passing the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act in 1996, by late November 2000 there was still no known protocol nor any formulated policy as to how suspected contamination would be handled.

“There has been a cavalier lack of risk management by both National and Labour administrations regarding contaminated seeds entering our food chain. This demonstrates a serious lack of awareness of the importance of the pure New Zealand brand.

“Primary production is the basis of the New Zealand economy. The lack of protection of that precious asset is mind-boggling. What were they thinking?” asked Mr Peters.

ENDS


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