GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 3rd  March 2004

NZ submissions overwhelm Australian Labelling committee

Over 500 of the close-to 600 submissions to an Australian Parliamentary committee considering the " Truth in food-labelling" Bill have come from New Zealand.

With growing concern that NZ has lost control over regulation of the food supply to a regulatory body based in Australia, New Zealanders have spoken up for the right to choose to avoid GE foods and to have a labelling regime that tells them the truth about a productís origins.

But only 3 groups supporting the Bill are being allowed to speak to the committee and there are fears that heavy industry lobbying has created a climate that is likely to see the bill squashed at the committee stage. 

" It is a shame some of these parliamentarians are hostile to the Bill when new evidence emerges weekly that the regulatory system is deeply flawed and is exposing the public to risks which they have no choice to avoid," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

Denying people information in order to foster trade-deals and the interest of corporations is fundamentally wrong. In the case of unlabelled GE foods it is tantamount to unethical experimentation on the public. Failure to serve the interests of the public may come back to haunt those colluding with it. This was the case with products like asbestos, and thalidomide yet the lessons of recent history continue to be ignored by politicians and regulatory authorities.

Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/food_label/submissions/sublist.htm

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