Monday 19 September 2011

More on the NZ Food Bill

I received this as an email earlier today, so decided to post it.

The question I would be asking is - where is the Green Party?  They don't seem to have any objections to this Bill.

It is great - there are now more than 5,000 signatures for the petition - we need more!

Hi Everyone,

Enjoy these simple pleasures of life?

They are soon to become regulated activates.

This is really important - remember the Therapeutic Medicines Bill that
caused a riot when the government wanted to restrict and/or delete
valuable herbal remedies and alternative medicines.

Well if you thought that was bad - this is horrendous.

This is an urgent call to action, this will affect every living person.

How are the lemons looking in your neighbourhood? Good?

How about the smell of that birthday cake someone baked for you?  Mmmmm, delicious, can't wait till they give it to you?

Feeling thirsty, for water perhaps? Soup kitchens? Food not bombs?

Community gardens?  How about all those cheap bagged fruits at roadside stalls, or that bread the op shop was giving away that the bakery didn't want at the end of the day?

You like saving seeds from your garden and sharing them with other
gardeners or seed banks? Food co-ops?

How about having a wee bake sale for the community group fundraiser?

You like food to be free, cheap, and accessable from a variety of

How about a bit of variety in the types of plants you can grow and

Do you use Natural medicines?

If you answered YES to any of the above then the Food Bill 160-2 (2010), Government Bill could have a major impact on your life.

This is a Bill before parliament that has already passed through one reading and recommendations of the assigned committee have been made to parliament..This means it is due to go for its second reading at parliament with the recommendations integrated into it.

It could easily be mistaken for a Bill designed with public safety in mind, but a closer look reveals that in fact this Bill would put an end to a basic right That of freely sharing our food, seeds, and natural remedies and an end to the lemonade stand?

Furthermore, anyone selling their own produce would be required to gain legal authorisation to do so, at a cost of course, and heres the clincher : small growers and sellers at say, farmers markets, will be hit with increased costs of compliance, that would of course push up food prices hurting the growers, sellers, and buyers of produce.

Not being legally allowed to share seeds without authorisation will discourage diversity of seeds, pushing heirloom varietys already rare into the too expensive basket,thus encouraging homogenisation of seedstock.

This of course will provide massive market advantage to multinational seed corporations such as Monsanto who not only can afford the costs of compliance but whose aims include narrowing and controlling the plants grown for consumption through Genetic Engineering, and controlling available seed stock by supplying seed for plants that will not self seed, thus enforcing our dependence on them.

Basically it reinforces the capitalist anti-people mantra of profit over people in a very serious  manner.

Now, you may wonder why the NZ government would want to do such a thing, there are many reasons, but the reason being presented is that we (the state and thus its citizens) must comply with the the rules set out for us in an agreement with the World Trade Organisation the the NZ government is a signatory to.

If all this seems somewhat surreal or overwhelming to you, you are not alone.

This Bill is not yet law, and despite formal public submissions being closed, it is not too late for those opposed to the Bill to make our voices heard and have a very real impact on parliament as they considerits merits.

What can we do?

Well, there is plenty we can do to deal with this attack on these, our fundamental rights to sustenance.

And while there is very narrow provision within the law to opt out of this proposed law being enforced upon individuals this simply is not enough, it must be stopped!

This is a call out to everyone to get ready to take action.

Sign the petition online:

We wholeheartedly encourage everyone with the means to communicate tocall a community meeting or get together with friends  to discuss whatyou are willing to do to protect our food from their greed. Remember,the more of us that stand together, the harder we are to ignore or push around.

We must take action!

There is some helpful analysis and other useful information available

1 comment:

  1. Did you notice which "select committee" is dealing with this in Parliament? being as the NZFSA says this is "to ensure that the food people buy is safe to eat" you might think it would be the "Health Select Committee", but oh, no! It is in fact the "Primary Production Committee". Stuffed full of dairy farmers and bankers, this gives the greatest clue to what this bill is all about. Firstly to create a regime that favours corporate and trans-national producers and traders, and then to comply with the loathesome "Codex" regulations that are generally written in to all "free-trade" type arrangements and are actively promoting the production of nutrient- impoverished foodstuffs in order to create a goodly supply of sick people for the benefit of Big Pharmaceuticals companies which dominate the Codex Committee of the WTO.


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