• Robyn McDonald
Consumer Affairs

The Minister of Consumer Affairs said today that it was essential New Zealand consumers were given an informed choice through proper food labelling for the food they wish to eat.

"One area in particular which is causing considerable concern is the introduction of genetically modified foods (GMFs)," said Mrs McDonald.

Mrs McDonald met with members and supporters of the "Open Forum for Health Information" when they marched to Parliament today to express their concerns over GMFs.

"I believe we must look at this issue urgently because food technology changes very rapidly and we need to ensure that consumer protection keeps up with such technological advances.

"Although food regulations fall into the health area, I believe that consumers rights are very important and I intend to raise the issue of proper and thorough labelling of foods with my parliamentary colleagues," said the Minister.

"Information about products is a major right of the consumer and each and everyone of us has a right to know as much as possible about the food we eat so that we can exercise an informed choice. This includes geographical origin, nutritional value, preservatives or chemicals, expiry date, processes involved in the food production, storage and use.

"I believe that it is an area which is falling behind the rapid technological advances within the food industry, and I intend to see that we make a difference by ensuring greater protection for all consumers through better labelling of all food products," concluded Mrs McDonald.