You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Food labelling bill passes first reading

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/04/2017

Replay Video
UP NEXT
1
Cancel
UP NEXT
UP NEXT
A Green Party bill that requires all single food items to carry country of origin labelling has passed its first reading in parliament with the government's support.

Ministers previously said they would oppose the bill, but National's caucus decided otherwise.

"Caucus had a discussion and decided to change the position, reflecting pretty strong consumer preference," Prime Minister Bill English told reporters.

"As I understand it, about 80 per cent of single item foods are labelled for origin already. The question is whether it's feasible or desirable to require the rest of them to be labelled in the same way."

The bill defines single food items as those that contain only one vegetable, fruit, meat, seafood, nut, grain, seed or oil © Getty Images The bill defines single food items as those that contain only one vegetable, fruit, meat, seafood, nut, grain, seed or oil The government's support isn't guaranteed beyond the first reading - it wants the bill to go to a select committee which can examine the issue.

MP Steffan Browning drafted the bill and he's delighted with the government's change of mind.

"It's obvious consumers want this and they will have very, very clear identification on single food items like tomatoes, meat, fish and grains.... They've been doing it in Australia for years," he said.

The bill defines single food items as those that contain only one vegetable, fruit, meat, seafood, nut, grain, seed or oil.

The bill passed its first reading by 120 votes to one, and has been sent to a select committee for public submissions.

ACT's sole MP, David Seymour, was the only one who opposed the bill.

It isn't likely to come up for its second reading before the election.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon