Choice is good

June 23rd, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

Horticulture NZ chief executive Peter Silcock says irradiated food is a concern for consumers.

“The primary concern is what impact has radiation had on the product and what impact will it have on my body when I eat it.”

No it isn’t a concern. What is concerning is Horticulture NZ trying to use science as a cover for protectionism.

Australian sterilisation and decontamination company Steritech said it would treat New Zealand consignments.

and capsicums will be treated, in accordance with specified standards which produce food that is safe and nutritious, in Steritech’s Narangba facility in Queensland,” said chief executive Murray Lynch. Irradiation was a safe, non-invasive alternative to methyl bromide and other chemicals used post-harvest, he said. Some irradiated tropical Australian fruit, including mango, papaya and lychees, is already sold in New Zealand.

I’m going to make it a point of principle to buy Australian tomatoes, so as to not reward NZ growers for their scare-mongering.

They are using the same tactics Australian orchardists used to block NZ apples for scores of years. We fought against that and should be better than that.

NZ and Australian tomatoes should compete on taste, quality and price. Not on scare-mongering.

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24 Responses to “Choice is good”

  1. nasska (10,632 comments) says:

    We only get that choice when the food is fresh…..if it’s tinned or frozen we have no idea even where it is grown, never mind whether it’s been irradiated.

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  2. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    I’m going to make it a point of principle to buy Australian tomatoes, so as to not reward NZ growers for their scare-mongering.

    I’m not, Aussie tomatoes are usually bland, tasteless. There’s much better locally grown tomatoes available. Especially home grown. But imports don’t “compete on taste, quality”.

    I don’t agree with scaremongering but I don’t agree with buying substandard food either.

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  3. Monty (962 comments) says:

    Can someone clearly tell us what irradiated food is? I understand that every time we eat something that has been microwaved it has been irradiated. Shock and horror. We must ban microwaves right now. Quickly. Someone call the rat faced boy MP!

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  4. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    Surely the point is that consumers should make an informed choice, if they don’t want to eat irradiated or GM food they should be able to make that choice with food being clearly labelled.

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  5. UglyTruth (3,958 comments) says:

    It’s as simple as organizing a boycott against shops that don’t label GM/irradiated/whatever.

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  6. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    It’s as simple as organizing a boycott

    Nobody needs to organise a boycott. Just don’t shop there. Buy organic or grow your own. You then don’t have to buy into arguments about cancer, or relative nutritional value, or whether your Chinese garlic is growing in cadmium and lead and how much paraquat went on your spuds. This will leave your time free to focus fully on the AGW debate.

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  7. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Ugly, do as davinci suggests.
    It’s a very good idea: buy organic and you’ll be happy and feel virtuous by paying those extra dollars.

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  8. Griff (6,715 comments) says:

    for your amusement
    all corn ex usa is contaminated by ge
    almost all processed food contains corn products
    almost all processed food has ge contamination.

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  9. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    Manolo

    Make sure you ask for extra high rate paraquat spuds next time. You’ll save a fortune on haircuts.

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  10. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    No doubt you grow your own Griff? ;)

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  11. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Irradiation is just zapping a product for a few seconds. Any chemical change to the product is miniscule. All it does is kill bacteria. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would object to it, or even why it would be necessary to be noted on a label.

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  12. kowtow (7,592 comments) says:

    Seeing how our food has gone nuclear ,can we now grow up and do away with the ship ban?

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  13. freedom101 (462 comments) says:

    This is all part of the trend towards catastrophisation of modern life. Now that we have conquered polio, the plague etc, we have to find new things to worry about. Hence: irradiation, fluoridation, immunisation, in fact anything with “-tion” on the end will do. Dihydrogen monoxide did not have -tion so why didn’t Sue Kedgley spot that?

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  14. Griff (6,715 comments) says:

    corn dvm is the best crop to hide your pot in. I have processed around one million tons of the shit into all sorts of products If you only had an idea of the chemicals used Pocl3 is in your frozen meat pies. pocl3 is the main ingredient of mustard gas.
    just because I Support science it does not mean I am a green whackjob
    nuke the food is better than it rotting.

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  15. Tauhei Notts (1,604 comments) says:

    I have found that small amounts of dihydrogen monoxide, when added to Scotch whisky, can do me a power of good.

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  16. thedavincimode (6,530 comments) says:

    pocl3 is the main ingredient of mustard gas.

    That would suggest it is admirably suited to incorporation in say, a chicken and leek pie??

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  17. Griff (6,715 comments) says:

    stops the filling going watery when you thaw it so all good..

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  18. greenjacket (416 comments) says:

    YesWeDid: “Surely the point is that consumers should make an informed choice, if they don’t want to eat irradiated or GM food they should be able to make that choice with food being clearly labelled.”

    Why?
    If someone is selling a product that is proven to be safe, then why should they be forced to put on that labelling?
    Now if consumers demand to eat GM-free or non-irradiated food (or country of origin, or from a family farm, or whatever else), then producers will respond by labelling their food ‘GM-free’ or ‘non-irradiated’.

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  19. backster (2,076 comments) says:

    I agree with PG. Anyone who would protest by buying Aussie Tomatos ( imported hard green) instead of NZ ones has no sense of taste…I don’t mind irradiation provided the food is clearly labelled so that I can choose not to buy it.

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  20. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    @greenjacket – Labeling food and letting the customer decide is the best way to let market forces decide what is being sold in our supermarkets. Look what has happen with free-range eggs and barn raised chicken, by differentiating these products from high intensity factory farming products then consumers who care have choices and are prepared to pay a premium for that choice. These price signals allow produces to decided what market they want to sell to.

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  21. projectman (203 comments) says:

    Peter Silcock’s reported comments should be a concern for all those concerned with good science and rational evaluation of information. If he is going to make such comments, at least point to the evidence and consensus of those knowledgeable in this field that substantiates what he is saying. I doubt it exists.

    This should be an embarrassment for Horticulture NZ’s management and Board. Shame!

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  22. Simon (681 comments) says:

    “Peter Silock’s reported…..”

    Fuck you don’t get it. The so called article is nothing but a press release from some vile lobby group which works hand in glove with a government department. The lobby group exists to write legisalation, curry favour with government departments and ring fence their industry from competators all at the expense of consumers.

    This lobby has the gall to talk about consumers interests. Fuck what sanctimonius horse shit.

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  23. adze (1,857 comments) says:

    The Australian protectionism is far from over. They have put onerous checking conditions on all NZ apple imports, making it a prohibitively expensive endeavour. Consequently growers haven’t exported much over there because it’s too hard/expensive. Australian business and government really are shit when it comes to NZ.

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  24. redeye (631 comments) says:

    Simon @ 7:31 – and that differs from all other producers how?

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