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Country of origin food labelling: Greens call on ALP and Coalition support for legislation

Media Release
Christine Milne 26 Dec 2011

With new revelations in today's press about misleading "Made in Australia" labelling of food in supermarkets, the Australian Greens have again called on the government and opposition to support legislative moves for truth in labelling before negotiations through the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement make it more difficult.

"Australians want to know where the food they eat and feed their families comes from, but at the moment they can't even trust the 'Made in Australia' labels in supermarkets," Australian Greens Acting Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"The Greens have worked with Senators Xenophon and Joyce on truth in labelling legislation, building on work over many years to help people make informed decisions on what to buy to feed their families and friends.

"Given the history of free trade negotations, and given the secrecy surrounding the TPPA, it would be no stretch to imagine that watering down country of origin food labelling will be on the table.

"It is disgraceful that the major supermarket chains are importing fruit and vegetables from countries which don't have the same environmental standards or labour laws as Australia has, and can then package them and legally claim that they are made in Australia. When you buy a packet of frozen vegetables with a beautiful scene of rural Australia, you expect the vegetables to have been grown in Australia, not in some other country.

"When parliament resumes in February, we will once again raise this issue and the legislation and discuss with the government and opposition moves to protect consumers' rights to know where the food they are eating comes from."

 

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