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The Food Bill

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The Food Bill is an extraordinary piece of legislation. The government is required to pass it in order to get its Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, which itself is totally undemocratic in that nobody iun New Zealand will be permitted to see what the government has signed until FOUR YEARS after it has come into law, and there will be no opportunity to change it in any way.


I was tipped to this a couple of days ago The Food Bill today.

Further quoting their email:

The Food Bill is putting in place a range of measures that set out the rights to trade in food and restrictions different types of trader have on their rights and obligations.  It requires all traders in food or food products to be registered and provides penalties for those who trade without an appropriate licence. The bill is pretty complicated, but forms the basis for an international code written by bit business interests and adopted by the International Trade Organisation as a basis for food trade.  Check out the various websites on the Codex Alimentarius to see how it has restricted even local barter in other countries, including the USA.

 

And from the Serbian WWOOFer's site:

New Food Bill in New Zealand raises a wall of state-bureaucratic procedures between New Zealand farmers and food and seeds that they have been commonly growing and sharing with each other till now. The Food Bill opened upsetting controversy in NZ: “It turns a human right (to grow food and share it) into a government-authorised privilege that can be summarily revoked. 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). Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem necessary – including guns (Clause 265 – 1).”

 

the parliamentary representatives of the New Zealand Greens, voted for the proposal of the Food Bill, apparently unaware of the Bill’s meaning and whom, by adoption of this Bill, may be left control over the growing and sharing of food! Now they are trying to correct the mistake by sending appeals to the Minister for Food Safety (they were silent during the public hearings on the bill!), in which they ask her to change the text of the disputed articles of the Food Bill relating to:
- Definition of food (seeds and food seedlings should be excluded from the content of future definition of food)
- Exchange, sharing and selling of food (people who share food with their guests, like WWOOF host do, should not fall under the strict limitations prescribed by law,)
- Farmers who sell small amounts of food in local markets (many of them are also WWOOF hosts)
- Small certified organic farmers who already have to follow numerous organic standards (the last thing they need is another layer of regulation, bureaucracy and costs)

 

 

Comments

HiThere is a piece of

Hi
There is a piece of legislation going through NZ parliament at the
moment called the Food Bill. There is not much information in the
media because the media aren’t or can’t talk about it. It will be
snuck through faster than a greasy pig while we are on holidays in
January.  We need action now to get 50,000 signatures – already nearly
13,000 have signed – not enough and we potentially have less than TWO
WEEKS.

Some parts of this bill involve change that is good.  But some parts
are completely insane/horrendous and have the potential to compromise
your health in the future, because they reduce the ability for small
food producers produce and give away/sell seeds and food.  And it
would be policed by Food Officers, not needing a warrant, not
government employees, & apparently having immunity from civil or
criminal prosecution!  This is in the legislation!

And what is different about this legislation as it comes under an
international rule called ‘Codex’ or ‘’Codex Alimentarius’.  If we go
along with Codex NZ then CAN’T CHANGE the legislation in future.  This
is what is really apalling about this. It is not Common Law, it is
Napoleonic Code.   It hasn’t happened before with food and is a quiet
part of Codex that most people don't realise.   We would actually have
to get out of the W.H.O. to change this legislation if we didn't like
it -  which is just not a thing governments do.  We would be stuck.
So we need to take time on this legislation, not fast track it through
at Christmas time.

What’s really shocking about this is that these rules are developed to
say we need ‘food safety’.  (Because we all know home grown veggies
are worse from us than mass produced stuff?!?)  But what they really
mean is to get rid of little producers, little growers and keep the
growing of food in the hands of the big companies.  Codex wasn’t
designed by governments and independent think tanks it was developed
by mega corporations – pharmacy, agribusiness, chemical.  These laws
were NOT initially drafted by the NZ government, but by lawyers
employed by big international corporates.

We need to stop this legislation as parliament want to sneak it
through while people are on holidays in January (which is what they do
when legislation is controversial). At a later date it can then be
reviewed and amended.

Main problems with Food Bill 160-2 :
1.      Home & small growers who grow small amounts of food and sell
locally NEED to be exempt - they are not.
2.      Seeds for cultivation and food seedlings NEED TO NOT BE within
the definition ‘food’ under the Bill.  (This is huge – imagine you not
being able to produce seed and give away!!).  This sounds crazy but
seeds will be ‘explicitly controlled substances’ (like drugs) –
seriously.  Why? Not sci-fi – in time whoever controls the food chain
protects their own interests.  (This is so unbelievable that I believe
this is why we are not acting.)
3.      Under the Food Bill, Police acting as Food Safety Officers can
raid premises without a warrant, using all equipment they deem
necessary –
including guns (Clause 265 –1)   (What is the precedent for this?  Why
is this necessary?)
4.      Members of the private sector can also be Food Safety
Officers, as at Clause 243. Eg. Monsanto employees can raid premises –
including
marae – backed up by armed police.     (This has never happened before
or needed to happen).
5.      AND Food Safety Officers have immunity from criminal and civil
prosecution.     What is the precedent for this?

Go here: http://www.petitiononline.co.nz/petition/oppose-the-new-zealand-governme...

These petitions are internationally recognised and your details are
safe - email addresses WILL NOT be passed on.

It has been under the radar as the media won’t talk about it.
Advertisers won’t let it in and anyone trying to write an opposing
view is lobbed off as ‘weird hippies’ or whatever. Professionals who
are deeply anxious about this legislation won't/can't write/talk about
it because their careers/integrity could be undermined. Quite
disturbing  This needs attention and thought.  You make up your own
mind.

Treat it like some conspiracy theory  and don’t necessarily believe
what I say.  Be cynical, look this up, research it, please be
informed.

Why didn't I do anything earlier?  Because I simply didn't realise all
the implications.  Because it is just so complex. And I couldn't
believe it all.

But please - don't sit on this like I did - act quickly.

cheers
Jodie Bruning
Tauranga

I promise you will not get lots of emails from me in future - this is
an important one.  Please kindly forward this on.

http://nzfoodsecurity.org/
http://anh-europe.org/news/codex-misinformation-creates-public-confusion
http://gaia-health.com/gaia-blog/2011-11-26/new-zealand-becomes-codex-al...
http://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/09/13/food-bill-update-from-sue-kedgley/
http://blog.greens.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/Correspondence-Sue-Kedgley.pdf