Questions will once again be raised about New Zealand’s food safety systems after Fonterra recalled thousands of containers of cream, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.
“Labour is concerned this recall once again tests the credibility of our food safety systems.
“Fonterra appears to have used the appropriate testing systems which picked up the dangerous bacteria E.Coli and have taken precautionary action, as is appropriate.
“However the timing of food testing and the accuracy of information provided to companies such as Fonterra needs further scrutiny.
“The Government has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars through its Primary Growth Partnership fund, yet areas of food safety and science continue to be under-resourced and not up to international best practise.
“New Zealand farmers will be rightly disappointed with this recall.
“Labour has consistently called for the independence of the Food Safety Authority, which is currently within the Government’s super ministry, the Ministry for Primary Industries.
“A stand-alone agency would ensure every level of food production can be accurately and independently monitored.
“Fonterra is our biggest company, food production is our biggest export and New Zealand cannot afford mistakes that can further damage our international reputation,” Damien O’Connor says.