INDEPENDENT NEWS

ANZFA Must Agree To GE Labelling Today - Greens

Published: Fri 22 Oct 1999 09:20 AM
Australian and New Zealand health ministers, including state government ministers, must today give a definite "yes" to a meaningful labelling regime for genetically engineered food, the Green Party says.
"In real `Yes Minister' style bureaucrats have effectively sidelined this issue for a year," Greens Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today. "The result is we've yet to see one official GE label on our supermarket shelves."
Australian and New Zealand health ministers are due to meet in Canberra today to consider whether all genetically modified foods should be compulsorily labelled.
Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said officials and the grocery industry were making a last ditch effort to water down and further-delay labelling provisions. There was a danger, for example, of meaningless "may contain" labels.
"Officials in the Australia New Zealand Food Authority will argue that full mandatory labelling of all foods will impose unreasonable costs on industry and on consumers who purchase food," she said. "I understand there are also efforts to extend the introduction period even more.
"Meanwhile industry scare tactics routinely inflate labelling and compliance costs. But this is just a red herring. Industry never complains about the huge amount of resource that goes into advertising and selling its products."
Ms Fitzsimons said the fuss by the grocery industry over "genetically engineered" labels was ridiculous considering there was little problem in listing other product ingredients.
"It would be particularly cowardly if the ministers and our food officials now took heed of the last-ditch spoiling efforts of the Grocery Industry Council, which has already distributed pro-genetic engineering pamphlets using the language of Monsanto," Ms Fitzsimons said.
"On December 17, 1998, ministers of Australian states outvoted New Zealand's representative minister Tuariki Delamere, and required transtasman labelling of GE food," Ms Fitzsimons says. "It is time to end the bureaucratic nonsense and put that decision into effect."
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Press Statement From Michelle Boag
By: Michelle Boag
Statement from Rt Hon Winston Peters
By: New Zealand Government
Government and Air NZ agree to manage incoming bookings
By: New Zealand Government
New Investment Creates Over 2000 Jobs To Clean Up Waterways
By: New Zealand Government
David Clark resigns as Health Minister
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Proposes Transformational Poverty Action Plan
By: Green Party
New protection for dolphins
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand To Review Relationship Settings With Hong Kong
By: New Zealand Government
Hamish Walker - A Personal Statement And An Apology
By: New Zealand National Party
Labour will extend loan scheme 'lifeline' for small business - PM
By: RNZ
Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-start COVID Rebuild
By: New Zealand Government
Government Strengthens Managed Isolation System
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Announces List For 2020 General Election
By: ACT New Zealand
Todd Muller Thanks Retiring MP Dr Jian Yang
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media