Labelling needed to protect families
Posted on Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Fears imported Chinese vegetables could be contaminated with the poison chemical melamine, is further evidence the Federal Government needs to urgently address country-of-origin product labelling said the Hon Judi Moylan MP.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand is currently investigating international media claims about the possible contamination of Chinese produce with the chemical which poisoned thousands of Chinese babies.
The Federal Member for Pearce said Australians are faced with a potentially dangerous situation which could have been avoided if the Government followed through with their promised overhaul of country-of-origin labelling.
“If they listened to what the growers wanted, clearer and simpler country-of-origin labelling for processed food and enforced the compliance of these labels for fresh food, consumers could avoid potentially dangerous produce,” she said.
“But the reality is, in some stores and markets, clean Australian grown vegetables are sold side-by-side with imported produce.”
“How can consumers make informed food purchases for their families without the enforced compliance of clear labelling?”
Calling on Tony Burke, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to act immediately, Mrs Moylan said this issue is now about food safety.
“This issue primarily focused on the need for country-of-origin labels to promote local, fresh food for health reasons and to secure the future of Australia’s growers,” she said.
“Now, it is about protecting families from potentially harmful chemicals and the Government should not ignore growers any more.”