The Food Bill
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)