Parliament

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

 

Nuked mangoes arrive in New Zealand

20 December 2004

Nuked mangoes arrive in New Zealand

The Green Party has learned that the first container load of irradiated mangoes, zapped with the equivalent of three million chest x-rays, were air freighted to New Zealand over the weekend.

Green Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the mangoes were irradiated at Steritech irradiation facility in Brisbane, which she visited recently.
This is the first irradiated whole food imported into New Zealand, because New Zealand has had long-standing opposition to nuclear technology including irradiated food.

Ms Kedgley said Steritech uses radioactive material - cobalt 60, a by-product of nuclear reactor technology - to irradiate the fruit with radiation doses up to 3 million times the strength of a chest X-ray. As the gamma rays pass over food, they produce physical, chemical and biological changes that break down the molecular structure of food.

"Irradiation is a controversial technology which partially destroys vitamins and fatty acids, causes the formation of free radicals in food, and can cause the formation of carcinogenic chemicals in mangoes and papaw. Fresh fruit suffer the greatest amount of destruction by irradiation.

"Any store selling the mangoes will be required to display an in-store sign near the mangoes saying they have been treated with 'ionising electrons' which many consumers will not realise means they have been irradiated. But there is no requirement for restaurants or take-away outlets to label irradiated food."

Ms Kedgley said MAF recently audited and accredited the Steritech facility giving the green light for irradiated mangoes to enter New Zealand.

"It is absurd that the Government is allowing irradiated mangoes into New Zealand from Queensland, known as the fruit-fly capital of the world, when there are ample supplies of non-irradiated mangoes imported from other parts of the world. Furthermore, there are other successful heat treatments being used to sterilise mangoes that did not require irradiation.

"Irradiation processes have failed in the past, resulting in the release of fertile insects. Imagine the devastation if a non-sterilised fruit-fly or any of the other 44 quarantine pests associated with mangoes slipped through as a result of a bad day at the food-nuking plant.

"There have been no studies of the long-term health effects of consuming irradiated food but the consumption of irradiated food has caused cancer, tumours, kidney damage and other immune and reproductive problems in animal studies.

"I fear this is the thin edge of the wedge and that there will be more and more attempts to bring in irradiated food into New Zealand. Only consumer opposition and corporate responsibility will be able to stop it now."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Dubious Wisdom Of Raising Interest Rates


During the last half of the 1990s, the first flickering signs of economic growth would cause then-Reserve Bank governor Don Brash to hike up interest rates and stamp them out. The fear back then was that if left unchecked, the embers of economic activity might cause the same inflationary fires to come roaring back to life that the West had experienced in the late 1970s. At the time, Brash would justify raising interest rates on the grounds that as RB governor, he always needed to be looking 18 months ahead, and judging where things might go by then, if he didn’t act now... More>>




 
 

Public Service Association: Data Shows Worrying Disparities
Eighty four percent of public servants are strongly motivated to stay working in the Public Service because their work contributes positively to society - and yet only 69 percent are satisfied with their job... More>>


Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>


Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

CPAG: Govt Yet To Fully Implement A Single Key WEAG Recommendation Three Years On
None of the 42 key recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group (WEAG) have been fully implemented almost three years after the report release, with 22 minimally or partially implemented, new research by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has found... More>>

CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>


National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels