3 Oct 2011

Group critical of Food Bill

6:36 am on 3 October 2011

A Maori organics group is critical of the Food Bill which is legislation that aims to ensure all food for sale is safe to eat.

Te Waka Kai Ora says there's been no specific engagement with Maori about the bill, which updates the 1981 Food Act.

It's been written to ensure businesses are aware of their responsibilities and don't avoid regulation.

But Jessica Hutchings, a grower with the group, says the changes will increase costs, bureaucracy and Government control over kai.

She suspects the bill favours big business - with the lobbying of global interests sitting behind the bill.

Dr Hutchings says the definitions around food and selling are unacceptably vague.

However, the Food Safety Authority says the Food Bill focuses on food for sale and profit, not the trade of home-grown food between neighbours or within a community.

The DSA says there's no set date when the bill will be passed by and become law.