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


No more methyl bromide in food or near homes

30 October 2006

No more methyl bromide in food or near homes

The practice of fumigating imported fruit and vegetables with the highly toxic fumigant methyl bromide should be stopped immediately, and effective alternatives such as steam sterilisation should be required instead, Green Party Safe Food and Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

The Green Party is also calling for an end to methyl bromide fumigation of containers in residential and urban areas.

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee, which has just released its report on a petition calling for the phasing out of the use of methyl bromide, was provided with a list of more than 6000 sites in New Zealand, many of them in residential areas, where containers can be fumigated with methyl bromide.

"Methyl bromide is a highly toxic fumigant and it is extremely concerning that fruit and vegetables intended for human consumption are being fumigated with it," Ms Kedgley says.

"Steam sterilisation is a viable, effective and, most importantly, safe, way of fumigating fruit and vegetables. There is no need to use methyl bromide, and the Green Party is calling on the Government to make it a requirement that this safe method be used instead.

"It is also totally unacceptable for containers to be fumigated next to homes, when at the end of the fumigation, the container doors are opened and the toxic gas is released directly into the atmosphere. The government should only permit fumigation to take place in dedicated sites located in industrial zones.

"In the meantime, until such time as it is prohibited, it is essential that residents are told when containers are being fumigated right next to where they live, and that the gas is recaptured as a condition of its use. This is already mandatory in some Australian states.

"New Zealand's use of the ozone-depleting gas methyl bromide has doubled despite the fact that New Zealand has signed conventions pledging to reduce use of the fumigant. There are still no financial or any other incentives or penalties that would require its use to be phased out, even though New Zealanders' health is threatened by the expanding hole in the ozone.

Maps showing where containers are fumigated in some of the main cities of New Zealand are available on request.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Worksafe’s Whakaari/White Island Prosecutions Are Good News

Somewhere in Heaven, Helen Kelly must be smiling about Worksafe’s criminal prosecution of 10 firms and three individuals for their roles in the lead up to the Whakaari /White Island tragedy. In tandem with the subsequent coronial inquest, these court proceedings will hopefully culminate in the creation ( finally!) of a central agency to regulate the adventure tourism sector and improve public safety on matters like risk assessment, safety guidelines, inspection, enforcement and injury reporting... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


WorkSafe: 13 Parties Charged Over Whakaari/White Island Tragedy

WorkSafe New Zealand today filed charges against 13 parties in relation to the Whakaari/White Island eruption in December last year. “22 people have lost their lives in this tragic event. WorkSafe is tasked with investigating workplace incidents to determine ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels