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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Food Safety Bill may kill off farm gate sales

Food Bill 160 appears to be creating Draconian laws to outlaw something that is not a problem.  While there is some opposition, this Bill may sneak through to become law without adequate public debate.  In the USA food co-ops have been subjected to armed raids.  It looks to me like we are heading down the same path.  We need to be careful.  The farmer's market and farm gate sales may become things of the past and we will be dependent on the big producers.  We may also lose access to many natural vitamins and minerals.

Please read this article, please pass it on to your friends and, if you are in Wellington, join the rally on 17th Sept.  

And what do you think?  Please place your comments below.

There will be a peaceful walk across Wellington to raise awareness of New Zealand Governement Food Bill 160-2. I am not trying to make this a protest in the traditional sense, but more a lowkey event to help raise awareness through the distribution of information regarding the Food Bill, so in turn people can make an informed decision for themselves.

Will start in Newtown @ 11am on Saturday 17th September, meeting at the playground on the corner of Constable St & Riddiford St (which is on the main road right in the middle of Newtown). This will help broadcast messages before we start, being such a busy intersection. Our route will then take us all the way down the main road until the Basin Reserve, then a left across country until we hit Cuba St, then down hill until Manners St where we can turn left and trek across to Willis St and then smooth sailing down onto Lambton Quay then the final stretch to The Hive. This will conclude our beautiful stroll, at which point a high energy organic picnic will be available for devouring!!

If the weather on Saturday doesnt look conjusive to walking across the city, I will setup somewhere on Cuba Street (possibly somewhere near the centre, close to the Health Food Store) and raise the banners and hand out information, for a couple of hours.

No stress, no expectation. More info to come....

Kia Kaha

------------------------------ BILL KEY INFO

In regards to where Food Bill 160-2 is right now:

'It has finished its select committee hearings and waiting for its second reading. No sign of it on order paper so hopefully won't get its second reading before elexction'

(source: Sue Kedgley, Green Party)

Main problems with the Food Bill

- It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorised privilege that can be revoked by the Governor-General.

- It makes it illegal to distribute “food” without authorisation, and it defines “food” in such a way that it includes nutrients, seeds, natural medicines, essential minerals and drinks (including water).

- It will push up mainstream food prices by subjecting producers to red tape and registration costs. Food prices are already rising due to increased energy costs and commodity speculation, while effective disposable incomes are falling.

- Growing food for distribution must be authorised, even for “cottage industries”, and such authorisation can be denied.

- Under the Food Bill, Food Safety Officers can enter premises without a warrant using all equipment they deem necessary, including guns (Clause 265 – 1). Police can be Food Safety Officers, and so can members of the private sector, as at Clause 243. So Monsanto employees can raid premises like houses or marae without a warrant, backed up by armed police.

- The Government has created this bill to keep in line with its World Trade Organisation obligations under an international scheme called Codex Alimentarius (“Food Book”). So it has to pass this bill in one form or another.

- There are problems with Codex also. Codex will place severe restrictions on the content of vitamins, minerals and therapeutic compounds in food, drinks and supplements etc. The Food Bill means that non-complying producers can be shut down easily – thus it paves the way for the legal enforcement of Codex food regulations.


------------------------------ LINKS

Food Bill

Excellent IndymediaNZ coverage

More useful info

First real semi-mainstream coverage on bfm, Sep 1

Similar news from abroad

Current online petition

NZ legislative process

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