Stuff reports:

New Zealanders could unknowingly be eating irradiated Australian tomatoes and capsicums from next month if labelling laws are not changed, says a New Zealand horticulture industry group.

Tomatoes New Zealand said today that Minister Nikki Kaye would decide this month whether the irradiated tomatoes and capsicums could be imported from June.

They could go on sale in retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, and Tomatoes NZ wants consumers to know what they are getting.

“We are demanding compulsory labelling on all irradiated produce, loose or otherwise, be clear and enforced, so that Kiwi consumers can make an informed decision between Australian irradiated tomatoes and New Zealand tomatoes,” Tomatoes NZ chairman Alasdair MacLeod said today.

“Consumers have the right to know where their produce comes from and how it has been treated.

This is near hysterical anti-science trying to disguise it self as being about labelling.

Basically Tomatoes NZ are trying the same tactics as Australian apple growers used against NZ apple growers for many years – fear, uncertainity and doubt.

if you are worried about , I hope you never use a microwave to heat food.

“We label shoes and clothing with their country of origin. Why wouldn’t we label [all] food?”

MacLeod said that unlike Australia, New Zealand did not have compulsory labelling of fresh produce.

Actually there is labelling, but they don’t stick labels on every individual tomato or apple. No one is going to buy fresh fruit (including NZ produced fruit) if they are covered by huge sticky labels.

What I think may be the future is a smart-phone app that has full labelling and nutritional information on all common food products. So for those who do worry about country of origin, or even irradiation, they can just scan a bar code in and see all the details they want.

But this isn’t really about labelling. It is about protectionism, and trying to use science to scare people off a perfectly safe food – sadly the same tactics Australian apple growers used against NZ. I’d rather we don’t stoop to their tactics.

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