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Howard Government dumps its commitment to country of origin labelling.



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Gavan O'Connor MP MEMBER FOR CORIO SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES

5 May 2005

HOWARD GOVERNMENT DUMPS ITS COMMITMENT TO COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING

Another day another broken commitment from the Howard Government

The Howard Government has overseen the publication of a draft assessment report from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) which clearly rejects regulations requiring accurate country of origin labelling.

This is a clear abrogation of commitments made by the Coalition before the 1996 election in respect of country of origin labelling.

In a speech to the parliament on 31 January 1995 the then Coalition Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Warren Truss, who is now the Agriculture Minister, said:

“The Coalition enthusiastically supports the concept of truthful country of origin labelling.”

“The Coalition believes in country of origin labelling.”

“Consumers want to buy Australian, and they have a right to know that the products they buy are indeed Australia. Therefore country of origin labelling has its genesis in a worthwhile objective.”

Mr Truss and the Coalition have now had ten years to deliver on their commitment to country of origin labelling.

Australia’s fruit and vegetable growers and the Australian fishing industry in particular will be bitterly disappointed by this latest policy backflip from the Coalition Government.

Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald regularly bemoans the incorrect labelling of seafood by a few unscrupulous merchants and has promised to “…take the issue of incorrectly labelled seafood to the next level…” (press release 5 May 2004), whatever that may mean.

Howard Government Ministers have moaned about lack of labelling and dodgy labelling for a long time now. They have had nearly ten years to do something about it but have delivered next to nothing.

Contact Gavan O’Connor on 0418 518 528 Bernie Eades on 0419 664 016