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New Zealand’s Food Safety Authority must immediately name the New Zealand-made product found to contain melamine and issue a nationwide recall of it and the White Rabbit Creamy Candies, the Green Party says.
Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says the Authority’s lack of action must be leaving Prime Minister Helen Clark red-faced, as it directly contradicts her statement, made when the scandal was uncovered, that: ‘...I think the first inclination (for the Chinese authorities) was to try and put a towel over it and deal with it without an official recall. That is never what we would do in New Zealand.’
“The NZFSA is refusing to issue an immediate nationwide recall, apparently claiming that it lacks the legal authority to do so until there is proof of harm, and it has so far not named the other New Zealand-made product found to contain low-levels of melamine.
“This is not an issue that should be treated lightly. People’s health maybe at risk and tip-toeing around the issue in Chinese style, is not what is called for,” Ms Kedgley says.
“Other countries like Singapore issued an immediate recall when they discovered melamine in these sweets, and I can’t understand why we aren’t doing the same.
“Several other countries have also banned imports of milk-based products from China, why haven’t we?
The discovery of melamine in products that are already sitting on shop shelves for sale, showed yet again that contaminated food is slipping through our borders and entering the food chain. It highlights the urgent need for proper testing at the borders to detect contaminated product.
“Last month the authority discovered illegal GE rice. This week it is contaminated sweets. What will it be next month?
Ms Kedgley said it also highlighted the urgent need for mandatory country of origin labelling of food, so that consumers could choose whether they wanted to avoid food from countries with a poor safety record.