INDEPENDENT NEWS

Secret planning a threat to food safety

Published: Thu 13 Nov 2003 11:48 PM
GE Free New Zealand
In Food And Environment Inc.
www.gefree.org.nz
GE Free New Zealand PRESS RELEASE –13.11.03
Secret planning a threat to food safety
The secrecy around those making decisions about food imported and sold in New Zealand and Australia is a threat to food safety and public health as well as national sovereignty.
Recent experience shows that public scrutiny of official decision-making is a vital defense against harm to the public interest:- from confident reassurances by UK Government Ministers that contaminated beef was not a cause of BSE, to claims by NZ Ministers that New Zealand can manage GE-release while preserving a zero- contamination threshold.
Refusal by authorities to be transparent about their decisions or to allow the public and independent scientists oversight run counter to the New Zealand's government's claims to good governance.
Any secrecy adds to growing public suspicion that something very sinister is going on as a result of overseas governments and corporations exerting pressure on decision-makers behind closed doors.
" The reality is that this secrecy has allowed some 20 GE foods to be imported to our country and sold without labelling from cafes, takeaways and restaurants," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment. " Not one of these government officials can actually tell you what has been brought in, or where it is sold. Their secrecy is compounded by their incompetence that exposes all New Zealanders to unacceptable risks".
A likely reaction against food-authority deceitfulness is for consumers to focus on industry-sectors and brand-manufacturers to gain information and confidence in products. The battle on our supermarket shelves for consumer trust may get fiercer as people start to avoid products made by companies colluding with government regulators and choose instead products and brands that keep faith with their consumers despite what regulators say "they can get away with".
ENDS Contact Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

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