Greens Seek Labels On All Fresh Food

NEW ZEALAND - The steaks you sizzle on the summer barbecue come from New Zealand - don't they?
calendar icon 8 October 2007
clock icon 2 minute read
What about fruit and vegetables? We are a clean green nation of great greengrocers.

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley argues New Zealanders may wrongly assume much of their fresh food is Kiwi-made.

She wants to see labels on all meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and other single-component foods like seeds, grains, or canned, dried and frozen fruit that tell shoppers from which country the food was derived.

In New Plymouth last week, Ms Kedgley said the issue was of overwhelming concern for consumers.

"People want to know where the food they buy, eat and feed their families comes from."

Kiwis were unaware the country imported nearly 1.5 million tonnes of food a year, including 149,462 tonnes of fruit, 32,207 tonnes of meat and 39,996 tonnes of vegetables.

The Green Party has launched a petition that will circulate the country until the end of this month.

Last year Ms Kedgley introduced a private members bill on the issue, but it was defeated. She aims to get the petition before a select committee.

Importing food is a safety issue, argues Ms Kedgley, referring to recent scandals about Chinese products such as toxic pet food and contaminated seafood.

She says 40% of our pig meat is imported, with 30% coming from Canada, where some pig herds are infected with bacteria.

Source: Taranaki Daily News
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