I have been busy attending and hosting meetings around the country about the food bill. While there is some unintentional misinformation circulating, there are many valid concerns about the bill. We do need rules to protect people from unsafe food, but not at the expense of a diverse and resilient food supply or civil liberties. It has been great to be able to tell people that I am extremely optimistic that our work with the Minister will mean that seed saving will no longer be covered by the bill. I am also confident that the issues around sharing food over the back fence and community organisations running fundraisers like sausage sizzles will be addressed.
I am meeting again with the minister next week to discuss these issues and look forward to their successful resolution. I will be raising the issue of the bills impact on our food sovereignty and that the bill does not consider genetically engineered (GE) food. The removal of GE food as a safety issue from the first draft of the bill is very worrying. It will remove our ability to prevent unsafe GE food being sold in New Zealand, leaving any control to the Australian dominated, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), or other international agreements.
Keep an eye out on our events page, I might be meeting at a local hall near you soon, or contact my office and we might be able to organise one near you. Do keep up the letters and emails to the minister. Together we will be able to make real change.