Food Bill Issues List

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Make a change, its not too late!

Food Bill & Codex Alimentarius will make fundamental changes to New Zealand’s food supply and food sovereignty. 42,000 kiwis have already signed the petition to oppose it. The primary intention behind Food Bill 160-2 is to enhance international trade rather than improve NZ food safety, and that is based upon a flawed theory that harmonisation of the domestic food regulatory regime with that of our trading partners will result in improved exports. Not only will this harmonisation destroy our ‘clean green’ image, it will lead to a long term reduction in export profitability as NZ forfeits its unique competitive advantage as a producer of clean/safe/natural food, to become ‘just like America and everyone else’. Food Bill also paves the way for multinational food corporations to control NZ’s local food market and allow bulk entry of inferior food products into NZ.

Food Bill in Committee of the Whole House happened 14th may 2014. Download Transcript here. Watch videos here

Second Reading happened on 13th May 2014. Download Transcript here. Watch videos here

Parliament's Primary Production Committee has released a report on the Food Bill, with a recommendation that it be passed with amendments. - 5th May 2014

  • Download the report here

Primary Production Select Committee received 567 written submissions, but only heard 19 submissions in person in Wellington 20th & 21st Feb 2014 Media Reports here: ^1^2


Updated analysis of the Food Bill issues list after the supplementary order paper was released 17/07/13 (note, the Select Committee has released recommended amendments on 5th May 2014, so this list below is now out-of-date

  • Submissions due 16/Aug/2013

1.1 Government motive for Food Bill 160-2 is trade rather than food safety

  • Remains True


1.2 The Powers of the Food Safety Minister are too wide

  • Remains True


1.3 Food Bill 160-2 is more about trade with North America than it is about domestic food safety

  • True but not just North America - Global Trade


1.4 Seed sharing, and food-plant sharing would become illegal

  • No longer true


1.5 Restrictions on seed sharing will lead to reduced bio-diversity

  • No longer true (see 1.4)


1.6 Food Bill will erode New Zealand Civil Liberties

  • Remains True


1.7 Food Bill will be used to introduce additional Genetically Modified organisms into New Zealand’s domestic food supply

  • Remains True - Still possible under the Minister's broad ranging power to declare anything to be food for the purpose of the bill


1.8 Domestic food regulations will be subject to International market forces because local regulations must match export regulations

  • Remains True – this is a key issue!


1.9 Compliance Costs for small food producers

  • Still true but to a lesser extent than was previously the case


1.10 Excessive bureaucracy for small food producers

  • Vastly reduced but still arguably excessive


1.11 National Sovereignty and Food Sovereignty will be diminished by the Food Bill

  • Remains True – This is a key issue. Still possible under the automatic inclusion of acceptable standards by reference. Change of language required so that such content can be accepted (ratified as appropriate to New Zealand conditions) only after formal approval by Parliament.


1.12 Food Safety Officers would be granted rights which contradict basic human rights afforded by NZ Bill of Rights Act

  • Possible but powers of food safety officers now governed by Part 4 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 (other than subparts 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8 and sections 118 and 119) applies.


1.13 Food Safety Officers permitted to perform searches without a search warrant

  • Remains True. Now reads:

(2) An officer’ s power to enter without a search warrant is described in section 275. (1) A food safety officer may enter a place described in subsection (2) without a search warrant and may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search. (2) The places are— (a) a place where a food business operates: (b) a place where a person intends to operate a food business: (c) the specific place in a dwellinghouse or marae where a food business operates: (d) the places necessary to get to the specific place in the dwellinghouse or marae where a food business operates: (e) a place, except a dwellinghouse or marae, where the officer reasonably believes documents relating to trading in food will be found: (f) a place, except a dwellinghouse or marae, adjoining or near to a food business where the officer reasonably believes activities are being carried out that adversely affect the food business: (g) a place, except a dwellinghouse or marae, adjoining or near to a food business whose conditions the officer reasonably believes are adversely affecting the food that the food business is trading in: (h) an international port: (i) an authorised place: (j) any other place, except a dwellinghouse or marae, where the officer reasonably believes that— (i) imported food is held; or (ii) food is being traded in; or (iii) a food-related accessory is being traded in.


1.14 Food Safety Officers may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search

  • Remains True. Now reads:

(1) A food safety officer may enter a place described in subsection (2) without a search warrant and may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search.


1.15 Food Safety Officers raiding a property can use any equipment they deem necessary • Probably still true but some restraints are envisioned (1) This section applies to a constable or food safety officer who is authorised by a search warrant to exercise powers at a place. (2) Any exercise of the powers at a marae or a building associated with a marae must take account of the kawa of the marae so far as practicable in the circumstances. (8) Section 110 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 applies 295 Carrying out search powers (1) Sections 106, 111 to 114, 115(1)(b) and (3), 116 to 130, 131(1) to (5), and 132 to 135 of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 apply . (2) However, sections 118 and 119 of that Act apply only to search warrants issued to constables.


1.16 Food safety officers would have immunity from civil and criminal liability

  • Remains True, now reads

322 Protection from civil and criminal liability (1) This section applies to the following persons: (a) the chief executive: (b) an employee or agent of the Ministry: (c) a member, an employee, or an agent of a territorial au thority: (d) a recognised agency: (e) an employee or agent of a recognised agency: (f) a recognised person employed or engaged by a recog nised agency: (g) an employee or agent of a recognised person: (h) a food safety officer: (i) a person appointed to carry out a review undersection 325.


1.17 Food safety officers do not need to be NZ State employees

  • Remains True

243 Appoint food safety officers (1) The chief executive may appoint a person as a food safety officer for the purposes of this Act, whether or not the person is employed in the State sector.


1.18 Food Safety Officer may exclude a particular person from all or part of a place

  • Remains True

272 Other powers (3) An officer may exclud ea particular person from all or part of a place.


1.19 Global Warming may significantly diminish NZ food sovereignty

  • Still true but applies without prejudice to the food bill


1.20 Food Bill would serve as a vehicle for introducing further Codex Alimentarius regulations into New Zealand, possibly by stealth

  • Remains True


1.21 Distributing water would be subject to restrictions and control

  • No longer unless water is declared to be food by minister


1.22 Imprisonment of individuals for up to 5 years for food offenses

  • Remains True

192 Offence involving knowingly or recklessly endangering or harming b) for an individual, to— (i) imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years; and (ii) a fine not exceeding $100,000.


1.23 Fines of up to $100,000 for food offenses

  • Remains True


1.24 Complexity of the Food Bill will create work for lawyers and excessive legal costs for consumers and small domestic food producers

  • Remains True


1.25 Codex Alimentarius standards are commercially biased through lobbying

  • Remains True


1.26 WWOOFing will significantly reduce due to compliance costs

  • Unknown


1.27 Food sickness costs were grossly exaggerated to justify the Food Bill

  • Remains True


Newly identified issues – post July 2013:

1.28 National Sovereignty and Food Sovereignty will be further diminished by the Food Bill

Details References
  • The term “accepted internationally” appears 4 times in the text. It refers to some mythical outside authority called ‘international’ which is undefined in the text. This is potentially relinquishing sovereignty to set our own standards, and suggests we simply follow ‘international’ like sheep.
  • It doesn’t specify which International region/country/body is being referred to.
  • 404 References to standard works
  • “A standard work of reference is a work of reference that the chief executive considers is accepted internationally or by an industry as a standard…”

The original Food Bill Issues List from March 2012

Contents

Food Bill Issues List (Original from March 2012)

Government motive for Food Bill 160-2 is trade rather than food safety

Details References
  • Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for Food Bill (on foodsafety.govt.nz website) states on the first page: "Significantly for an export led recovery for New Zealand, the domestic food regulatory regime is the platform for exports. The New Zealand domestic standard is used as the basis for negotiating equivalence arrangements with our trading partners. This minimises the excessive importing country requirements that may be imposed but which do not go to food safety."
  • New Zealand Crown is currently negotiating in secret a new international agreement called TPPA between NZ, USA, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam. Japan, Canada and Mexico.
  • Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations began in 2010 & if negotiations for the TPPA succeed they will create a mega-treaty across nine (or more) countries that puts a straightjacket on the policies and laws that NZ government can adopt for the next 100 years and provides significant new powers to big corporations.
  • Food Bill 160-2 is a critical success factor for TPPA because it facilitates New Zealand’s enforced compliance with Codex Alimentarius.
  • TPPA, Food Bill, and Natural Health Products Bill were all written at the same time (2008 – 2010), by the same Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO), so it would be very difficult for the National Government to claim that they were somehow all unrelated or didn’t share the same spirit of intent.


The Powers of the Food Safety Minister are too wide

Details References
  • Once the food bill is passed into law, The Food Safety Minister can freely make any subsequent changes deemed necessary.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the Food Safety Minister are given significant power to make amendments by way of regulation once the Food Bill is enacted through legislation.
  • The Minister is empowered by the Food Bill to effectively change anything by way of regulation, including the insertion of new prohibitions pertaining to social practices such as seed sharing (for example).
  • The term "Order in Council" been embedded throughout the bill (in relation to every facet of the text) forty three (43!) times (excluding those instances where it appears in the preliminary list of titles preceding the document proper.)
  • There is nothing relating to food that the Minister would not be able to change. In fact the Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations declaring anything to be food for the purposes of this Act

Political Implications

  • Exercise of this wildly excessive state-power will be necessary to facilitate the application of regulations being pushed by WTO through FAO's Codex Alimentaris in relation to global trade in foodstuffs.
  • The resulting fundamental food law arising from Food Bill 160-2 is to be used as part of a global effort by big agri-business (and their nation-state supporters) to seize control of food supplies.
  • Farming and the manipulation of productivity is a critical element in a strategy aimed at global population management. "Control the food supply and you control the people".
  • With this aim in mind the global trade in foodstuffs is being used to direct the profits arising through productivity management so as to favor one country over another to suit passing political motivation.
  • Thus New Zealand's Dairy produce, processed and marketed by its co-operative conglomerate Fonterra (the World's biggest) can be switched into places like Iraq for a nice return to New Zealand provided it plays by the rules and manipulates its farmers into using agri-chemicals and seed stocks supplied by particular global interests (Monsanto, Du Pont, Dow, Bayer etc).
  • This is also a regulatory strategy aimed at the destruction of local whole-food production throughout New Zealand as artificial compliance fees are readily brought into play in order to make the modest efforts of the normal Kiwi battler “unprofitable” thereby "clearing the decks" to enable increased market dominance by food-conglomerates.
  • This ensures greater predictability with respect to the "important" internationally sourced income-streams.
  • The food bill not as sweet as first appeared, Green Party blog post, Jan 2012
  • Food Bill Section 346
    • "The Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations setting standards in relation to food that specify the criteria that all or any of the following must meet to ensure that food is safe and suitable:..." such orders would require no public consultation - In section Section 341 (ha) appears to have been added to require consultation for section 346, however, it seems to be only consulation of "persons or organisations that the chief executive considers representative of the interests of persons likely to be substantially affected by the exercise of the power".
      • Not the same thing as public consultation!
  • Food Bill Section 355
    • Food Bill Section 355 Regulations about definitions (1) The Governor-General may, by Order in Council made on the recommendation of the Minister, make regulations— (a) declaring anything to be food for the purposes of this Act:
  • Food crop ecosystems meddling already underway


Food Bill 160-2 is more about trade with North America than it is about domestic food safety

Details References
  • New Zealand’s top 4 exports to USA are all food: beef, dairy, sheep meat and wine.
  • New Zealand’s top 4 imports from USA are nothing to do with food: Aircraft, aircraft parts, turbo jets, and medical or veterinary instruments.
  • Therefore, when economic gains (from NZ exports) are considered (ahead of biosecurity, human rights, food sovereignty etc), New Zealand has much to gain from maintaining and improving its export capabilities to USA, which is facilitated by the TPPA, which will stipulate a requirement for alignment with Codex Alimentarius.
  • Hence increased trade with USA is directly related to Food Bill 160-2, which will provide for enforcement of Codex Alimentarius, first through regulations setting domestic standards (without public consultation, via Food Bill Section 346) and these, in turn, will then be reflected into the export food chain as required.

Seed sharing, and food-plant sharing would become illegal

Details References
  • Definition of food includes seeds, and hence the distribution of seeds is restricted.
  • Seed banks and seed-sharing networks could be shut down if they were not able to obtain authorisation, and that authorisation can be denied by the Minister of Food Safety or MAF.
  • See also: “Restrictions on seed sharing will lead to reduced bio-diversity”

Restrictions on seed sharing will lead to reduced bio-diversity

Details References
  • Loss of seed variety would make it more difficult to grow one’s own food.
  • Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems.
  • Crop diversity aids recovery when the dominant cultivar is attacked by a disease or predator.
  • The Irish potato blight of 1846 was a major factor in the deaths of one million people and the emigration of another million. It was the result of planting only two potato varieties, both vulnerable to the blight.
  • Monoculture (zero biodiversity) was a contributing factor to several agricultural disasters, including the European wine industry collapse in the late 19th century, and the US Southern Corn Leaf Blight epidemic of 1970.
  • Seed restrictions would quickly lead to the permanent loss of traditional plant varieties (known as heirloom plants)
  • Seed restrictions will result in the general lowering of plant diversity in agriculture.

Biodiversity is short for Biological Diversity - the degree of variation of life forms within a given species, ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet.

Food Bill will erode New Zealand Civil Liberties

Details References

New legislature is seldom drafted to increase civil liberties, and in most cases it leads to an erosion of civil liberties. Erosion will occur via a number of mechanisms within Food Bill 160-2, namely:

  1. National Sovereignty and Food Sovereignty will be diminished by the Food Bill
  2. Food Safety Officers would be granted rights which contradict basic human rights afforded by NZ Bill of Rights Act
  3. Food Safety Officers permitted to perform searches without a search warrant
  4. Food Safety Officers may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search
  5. Food Safety Officers raiding a property can use any equipment they deem necessary
  6. Food safety officers would have immunity from civil and criminal liability

refer to the references for each of the individual issues cited elsewhere in this page.

Food Bill will be used to introduce additional Genetically Modified organisms into New Zealand’s domestic food supply

Details References
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are already in the New Zealand Food supply, but only as ingredients via imports from international trading partners that have grown the GMO's (Australia, China, USA being the primary sources <citation required>).
  • 51 GMO’s have been approved by Food Safety Australia New Zealand to date, but no GM crops are actually grown commercially in New Zealand.
  • There are however some experimental crop trials which have been permitted in New Zealand <citation required>.
  • Food Bill 160-2 Section 346-3-i allows for the Minister of Food Safety (currently Hon Nikki Kaye, but applies to any future minister) to set whatever standards they wish about “the genetic modification of food”, which will inevitably fall unto recommendations from the Codex Alimentarius Commission (which is commercially lobbied by big Agri-businesses (such as Monsanto) that have commercial interests in increasing their sales of patented genetically modified seeds (and animals in future) and big Banks)
  • The unwritten implication is that Section 346 is a legal ‘back door’ to fast track GMO’s into New Zealand’s food supply. Potentially circumventing the protections (that New Zealand citizens rely on) afforded by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO).

Domestic food regulations will be subject to International market forces because local regulations must match export regulations

Details References
  • Example: The same rules will apply to both Fonterra's exports and a farmer's market stall.
  • Hence, our local (domestic) food supply will be subject to changes imposed by countries that NZ exports food to.
  • New Zealand currently has its own requirements concerning levels of contamination that can be tolerated in foodstuffs. This covers materials such as carcinogens, heavy metals, pesticides, substances arising from genetically engineered crops and so forth. However, under World Trade Organization rules the levels of permitted contamination will be governed by the schedules defined by the Codex Alimentarius. The Codex levels are in general less stringent than those presently applied domestically by New Zealand. Thus we will be unable to exclude foreign shipments of food-stuffs which meet Codex expectations but would fail to pass domestic standards. Were such “contaminated shipments” to be turned away from our shores we would be immediately subject to retaliation. The World Trade Organization would respond by siding with the exporting nation. Conceivably the fall-out could threaten huge trade-based foreign currency income streams flowing into New Zealand. Under such circumstances Government would “solve” the problem simply by an “order in council” deeming the Codex standard to be the working level for the domestic market. Thus the formerly “contaminated” food would be allowed into our markets and step by step, our food supply would be degraded along with our national standing-in-the-world.
  • Food Bill section 346-6
    • “Regulations made under this section must not set a standard for food sold for export that is different from the standard set for food sold on the domestic market.”
  • An example where a developed country government (under pressure) elevated an accepted exposure level to a hazardous influence by fiat may be found HERE

Compliance Costs for small food producers

Details References
  • Compliance costs work in favour of big business (that have the means to pay those costs), and punitively discourages small businesses.
  • In her submission, pensioner Biddy Fraser-Davies, who makes cheese from her three cows (Sally, Emily and Molly) and has a turnover of under $20,000, explains how she only had to pay $100 to her local council for food safety compliance to set up eight years ago, but compliance costs would increase to nearly $5500.
    • She told how her application to make a new ‘raw’ hard cheese had been sitting with the regulators for over two years and that indications were of compliance costs in excess of $600 for each ‘batch’.
    • She explained, “My ‘batch’, typically is a single wheel of cheese around 3 or 4 kilos! Even my most dedicated customer will baulk at this price being added to the cost of the cheese”.
  • Lisa Er, founder of Lisa's Hummus, believes that if the food bill had been around 15 years ago, the compliance costs would have prevented her from getting off the ground:
    • “I had absolutely no money, nothing to invest at all. I had been on a benefit so I was starting from the ground up.
    • Lisa's now has 123 employees, so that's made a difference to the country, but I couldn't even have started because I had no money whatsoever.”

Excessive bureaucracy for small food producers

Details References
  • Bureaucracy favours big business (that have the staff & means to deal with it), and punitively discourages small businesses.
  • Steffen Browning 18 Jan 2012 the food bill not as sweet as first appeared
    • “A small grower wanting to sell some surplus plums or cabbages to the corner dairy has to enter the bureaucratic jungle: Register at a cost, apply for an exemption, or wait and hope that MAF and the Minister decide to make an exemption after the Food Bill is through, but no promises.”

National Sovereignty and Food Sovereignty will be diminished by the Food Bill

Details References
  • Food Sovereignty is the “right" of peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems, in contrast to having food largely subject to international market forces.

Food Safety Officers would be granted rights which contradict basic human rights afforded by NZ Bill of Rights Act

Details References
  • Food Bill would weaken/reduce kiwi Civil Liberties through extensive powers granted to Food Safety Officers (see other Food Safety Officer related issues in this list of issues)

Food Safety Officers permitted to perform searches without a search warrant

Details References
  • Bill of Rights protects against unreasonable search or seizure
  • Food Billl section 275-1
    • “A food safety officer may enter a place described in subsection (2) without a search warrant and may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search.”

Food Safety Officers may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search

Details References
  • Bill of Rights protects against unreasonable search or seizure
  • Food Bill section 275-1
    • “A food safety officer may enter a place described in subsection (2) without a search warrant and may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of entry and search.”

Food Safety Officers raiding a property can use any equipment they deem necessary

Details References
  • Guns and other weapons not excluded. No limitation on what that equipment could be used for.
  • Food Bill section 265 – 1
    • A food safety officer may use at a place any equipment the officer has taken into the place if the officer reasonably believes that its use is necessary.”

Food safety officers would have immunity from civil and criminal liability

Details References
  • The immunity provided to Food Safety Officers is wide and unlimited. This opens the door to FSO’s doing whatever they want.
  • Food Bill section 322-2
    • "The person is protected from civil and criminal liability for any act that the person does or omits to do”

Food safety officers do not need to be NZ State employees

Details References
  • Big Agribusiness (Monsanto et al) employees with clear commercial conflicts-of-interest could be employed as Food Safety Officers.
  • Food Bill section 243-1
    • “The chief executive may appoint a person as a food safety officer for the purposes of this Act, whether or not the person is employed in the State sector.”

Food Safety Officer may exclude a particular person from all or part of a place

Details References
  • A person could be excluded from their own home

Global Warming may significantly diminish NZ food sovereignty

Details References
This is a composite of other issues:
  1. “Seed sharing, and food-plant sharing would become illegal”
  2. “Restrictions on seed sharing will lead to reduced bio-diversity”
  3. Worldwide atmospheric CO2 levels have been steadily increasing since measurements began in 1960’s.
  4. Increasing CO2 levels may soon reach a ‘tipping point’ which could cause an abrupt temperature increase (rather than the gradual increase we are currently experiencing)
  5. Controlling home-produced seeds will automatically result in reduced biodiversity.
  6. If New Zealand’s average temperature suddenly increases by a couple of degrees (or perhaps even by one only) then all the industrially “approved” seeds could fail along with the majority of crops associated with International Corporations.

Food Bill would serve as a vehicle for introducing further Codex Alimentarius regulations into New Zealand, possibly by stealth

Details References
  • Food Bill begins as a top-down control mechanism, but has sufficient open-endedness to allow the addition of regulations from Codex Alimentarius (without explicit permission from NZ public).

Political Implications

  • Once the Food Bill (or similar legislation) is in place, the UN/FAO/WTO can then modify the regulations as part of what they would deem acceptable evolution of Codex standards. They would not be obligated to inform the New Zealand public of these changes as Food Bill 160-2 will have already made adherence to the Codex standards law in NZ.
  • See issue “The Powers of the Food Safety Minister are too wide”,
  • foodsafety.govt.nz website “International food safety standards are coordinated through the Codex Alimentarius Commission. New Zealand is an active participant.”
  • In 2009 The New Zealand Food Safety Authority prepared a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) to cover a “Reformed Food Regulatory Regime”. In it the Agency states on page 1 that (quote). Significantly for an export led recovery for New Zealand, the domestic food regulatory regime is the platform for exports. The New Zealand domestic standard is used as the basis for negotiating equivalence arrangements with our trading partners. This minimizes the excessive importing country requirements that may be imposed but which do not go to food safety.(unquote). Thus were the long years of effort in crafting an indigenous and appropriate food-safety regime offered up as a sacrifice to Mammon.

Distributing water would be subject to restrictions and control

Details References
  • Water would be classed as food, and hence subject to regulation under the Food Bill
  • Food Bill 8-1 “Meaning of Food”
    • “In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, food— (a) means anything that is used, capable of being used, or represented as being for use, for human consumption (whether raw, prepared, or partly prepared)”

Imprisonment of individuals for up to 5 years for food offenses

Details References
  • Food Bill could be used to imprison citizens for up to 5 years. These long prison terms could be used to coerce food producing citizens.
  • Food Bill section 192-3
    • “for an individual, to— (i) imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years; and (ii) a fine not exceeding $100,000. “

Fines of up to $100,000 for food offenses

Details References
  • Threats of fines of up to $100,000 for Food Bill crimes could be used to coerce food producing citizens.
  • Food Bill 192-3
    • “for an individual, to— (i) imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years; and (ii) a fine not exceeding $100,000. “

Complexity of the Food Bill will create work for lawyers and excessive legal costs for consumers and small domestic food producers

Details References
  • According to the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), the Food Bill was supposed to have been drafted “as a coherent package, in a modern concise language”. However, the bill is 378 pages long! and consists of over 97000 words (excessive in length and complexity).
  • Complexity of the bill in terms of overall number of sections and subsections
  • Complexity of the bill because of overlaps and contradictions with other NZ legislature (current & proposed) eg. Natural Health Products Bill, Bill of Rights Act
  • There are currently 331 different 'standards' defined in the Codex Alimentarius. Each of these standards would need to be interpreted and referenced when considering legal compliance with Food Bill 160-2.

Codex Alimentarius standards are commercially biased through lobbying

Details References
  • United Nations established Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  • The Codex Alimentarius (Food Book) Commission is an entity operating under the umbrella provided by FAO. This Commission has its own member states and consequently its own budget (as mediated by FAO) but also negotiates its own extra budgetary funding (see below).
  • FAO is a specialized UN agency funded by its own Member States and is seated in Rome. It operates separately from the generic UN system (Security Council and so forth) which is seated in New York.
  • Only 10-20% funding arises from FAO member-nation contributions (NZ is a member nation)
  • The remaining 80-90% of FAO funding is from extra-budgetary sources (received from multilateral and bilateral donors). * This extra-budgetary funding mechanism directly opens the Codex to commercial influence.

Political Implications

  • The actual “Codex Alimentaris” (Food Book) output was/is crudely a data-base covering food products, contaminants, and suggested tolerable levels thereof. However, although this was formerly a passive instrument the requirements imposed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the NZ food bill makes the Codex an active control implement which will be directly imposed on Kiwi society whether it is wanted or not.
  • NZ needs to maintain its own set of standards for food safety and not blindly rely on ANY foreign standards (although NZ can obviously reference foreign standards where appropriate)

WWOOFing will significantly reduce due to compliance costs

Details References
  • Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) also known as "Willing Workers On Organic Farms", is a loose network of national organisations that facilitate placement of volunteers on organic farms across 99 countries.
  • Because WWOOF does charge a small fee, Food Bill 160-2 will make WWOOF’ing illegal unless the WWOOF farm owners register and submit to the onerous paperwork compliance requirements of Food Bill 160-2.
  • This will lead to a significant overall reduction in the practice of WWOOF'ing in New Zealand.
  • Food Bill section 12-1-b
    • “supplying food, together with any accommodation, service, or entertainment, as part of an inclusive charge” and “every other method of disposition of food for valuable consideration.”
  • WWOOF on Wikipedia

Food sickness costs were grossly exaggerated to justify the Food Bill

Details References
  • Food sickness costs being used to justify the Food Bill are a ‘gross exaggeration’ according to the think tank the New Zealand Centre for Political Research.
  • $162 million cost of foodborne illness identified in a government report is being used to justify the proposed legislation.
  • $6 million is the direct cost of health care. The rest is made up of the almost $17 million cost to the government of setting and enforcing food hygiene standards, $12 million in business compliance costs, and a $27 million estimate of workforce losses caused when people are ill. The majority of the cost ($100 million) is essentially a guestimate of the value private individuals place on not getting sick.

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Flyer claims

Specific claims we made on our flyer

Claim Details References

The proposed NZ Food Bill would allow power to be handed directly to the Codex Commission to write binding regulations on an ongoing basis without consulting the people of New Zealand

The provisions relating to "material incorporated by reference" allow external documents to be added, granting the full legal power of the Food Bill to them, with a public consultation requirement under 7 Requirement to consult on proposal to incorporate material by reference in Schedule 6 (no need to go through Parliament).

Updates to these documents automatically become law with no consultation (Schedule 6 section 4 says the requirement is only that updates be of the same 'general character'). This allows for Codex Alimentarius to become the authority either in pieces - with specific food categories handed over one at a time, in large chunks, or all at once.

Other Claims and Issues

The list above is for issues that have clear references and a clear chain-of-logic, whereas the following list is for those claims which have been made (in online blogs etc) but are as yet unsubstantiated.

Claim Details References

Food Bill 160-2 and TPPA are international apologies to USA for New Zealand becoming a Nuclear free zone in 1984

Political Implications
  • Following NZ becoming a Nuclear Free Zone in 1984 (preventing visits from North American nuclear powered military ships and submarines), there is a perception within parliament that NZ has suffered economic losses through denied trade opportunities with North America as a result of the Nuclear free status, and hence they are overtly keen to do-whatever-they-can to support TPPA and rebuild economic ties with North America (amongst others).
TBA

Current Status of the Bill

  • Submissions are open till 16th Aug 2013
  • No date has yet been set for the Second Reading

Make a change, its not too late!

Food Manifesto

The growing push toward industrialisation and globalisation of the world’s agriculture and food supply imperils the future of humanity and the natural world. Successful forms of community-based local agriculture have fed much of the world for thousands of years, while conserving ecological integrity. This continues to be so in many parts of the world. However, such systems are being rapidly replaced by corporate controlled, technology-based, mono-cultural export oriented systems. These systems of absentee-ownership are negatively impacting public health, food quality and nourishment, traditional livelihoods (both agricultural and artisan) of indigenous and local cultures, while accelerating indebtedness among farmers, and their separation from lands that have traditionally fed communities. The intent of Food Bill 160-2 is to facilitate the transfer of our family-farm agricultural eco-systems into a structure controlled by multinational corporate interests mediated by a set of regulations known as "Codex Alimentaris" This transition is already increasing hunger, land-lessness, homelessness, despair and suicides among farmers. Meanwhile, it degrades the planet’s life support systems, and ensures increasing planet-wide alienation of peoples from nature. This will fracture the historic, cultural and natural connection of farmers and all other people to sustenance derived from clean food. Finally, it continues to destroy the economic and cultural foundations of societies, as security and peace are undermined creating social disintegration. The end result will be that our largely independent clean and green agricultural system will be forced through the mesh of a global-control mechanism governed by the restrictions and liberal pseudo-standards imposed by the World Trade Organization. As a direct result of this our currently perceived trading-edge will become eroded as we sink into the morass of corporate economic necessity supplying pap to an ever growing global population.

Further insight into the nature of this looming threat to our national security is presented in this document Manifesto on the Future of Food.

Cartoons

Food Bill 160-2 Cartoon by Mike Moreu

Contact Details

Email: buzzybee [at] foodbill [dot] org [dot] nz.

File:Foodbill org nz contact details.png?

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