“There is no consumer demand for irradiated food from Australia, and labelling these new imports as irradiated will merely increase demand for New Zealand varieties of the same,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health – Organic NZ.
New Zealand currently imports irradiated mangoes, papayas, custard apples and lychees from Australia, and tomatoes and capsicums will be arriving soon.
“People in nuclear-free New Zealand want local, safe and organic food,” says Swanwick. “Irradiated food has no benefits for consumers; in fact there is strong evidence to suggest that it has negative impacts on human and animal health.”
Irradiation of food began in 1986 in America but despite being deemed safe by the FDA many question it. Irradiation is often used as an alternative to chemical insecticides.
The Australian Government banned irradiated cat food four years ago when animals developed neurological defects after being fed high-dose gamma-irradiated food. The European Food Safety Authority is currently investigating the safety of irradiated food.
“The New Zealand Food Standards Code requires that all irradiated food is labelled as such, but retailer education on the issue and policing of it could result in these standards not being adhered to.”
“Of course the best way to ensure the purity of your food and that it is grown here is to buy New Zealand certified organic produce – that is labelled as BioGro, AsureQuality, Demeter and OrganicFarmNZ,” says Swanwick.
Soil & Health is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and advocates for the consumer’s right to have fresh, healthy, organic food and water free of GE, pesticides and additives and their right to know what is in their food and water. Oranga nuku, oranga kai, oranga tangata. To learn more about what is really in your food subscribe to their Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/OrganicNZ
To view online click here www.organicnz.org.nz/node/711