The Food Bill – elucidation from Mel Archer

Posted on January 7, 2012

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I’ve seen the link to the “Oppose the NZ Food Bill 160-2” come up on my feed with increasing frequency in the past month or two (link below) . Before considering signing, please take the time to read the Q&A on the MAF website addressing concerns that have already been raised about the bill: http://foodsafety.govt.nz/policy-law/reform-nz-food-regulations/food-bill/questions-answers.htm.


In addition there have been several recent news articles/press releases by Green MPs about the bill and common misconceptions about it (some of which continue to be disseminated by the author of the below petition):
http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/6216271/MP-calls-for-more-feedback-on-Food-Bill  (this article was also published on the same day on StuffNZ with the headline “Food Bill threatens ‘bake sales'” – take from that what you will…)
http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/12524078/food-bill-to-make-food-safer-wilkinson/


If you’re interested, here’s a link to the bill itself, showing amendments that have been made in response to issues raised by both MPs and members of the public http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2010/0160/latest/DLM2995811.html?search=ts_bill_food+bill_resel&p=1


I recommend considering all clauses, subclauses, definitions etc. of the bill within the context of the bill as a whole rather than treating such sections as pieces of legislation to be viewed in isolation, or with possible impact outside the scope of the issues that the bill aims to address (ie consumer food safety in NZ).


Here’s the link to the petition: http://www.petitiononline.co.nz/petition/oppose-the-new-zealand-government-food-bill-160-2/1301


I don’t support the petition, because its authors have not removed misleading/inaccurate information about who the bill will affect (i.e. people exchanging seeds for growing food), and what the intention of the bill is, from their website or the petition information. That is why I have provided the above information in an effort to bring some balance to the debate.
I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the bill if I’m able. Email me here.


Cheers, Mel

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