Friday, 13 April 2012

Freedom to grow food in New Zealand

My introduction to this issue in New Zealand was 17:28 minutes into the latest edition of UK Column News:

More detail is available here, a NZ site that urges opposition to both the Food Bill and the Natural Health Products Bill (which seems to echo the European version). Ostensibly on the grounds of food safety it purports to reserve to the state the right to define what is healthy and natural.

Opponents of this bill link it to Codex Alimentarius, and predict that all governments will attempt to implement it, unless they are resisted. Readers are free to google the actual terms of Codex, everything is in plain view. A critical analysis of Codex is here. The agreements regulates food and nutrients and can be enforced by the World Trade Organisation. Everything that people eat must meet the specifications of the authorities. The New Zealand Bill codifies this into a national law, and it seems natural to assume that other governments will want to follow.

The US has seen raids on farms in recent times, in federal actions that seem anything but even-handed. More here.

There seem to be numerous parallels between restrictions on freedom to grow food and restrictions on smoking. Both are done ostensibly in the of safety, both seek to undermine if not actually people's own views about what constitutes safe consumption. Under both food safety and non-smoking regimes the wrongs perpetrated by relevant mega-corporations are ignored while the small farmer/smoker comes under intense scrutiny without being adequate means to oppose the government's arguments. In each case the mega corporation bravely takes on the small trader.

That said, this area is new to me. I'm reserving further comment until I have read more on this.


Xopher said...

My local Primary School created a garden and planted both flowers and vegetables.
The school kitchen would not allow the fresh, organic produce to be used for its meals!
What a load of bureaucratic balderdollocks!!

Anonymous said...

Codex What?

Nil by mouth

"What is at issue is couched in soothing terms in three EU directives. First, the Food Supplements Directive (FSD), under the guise of harmonisation, creates a restricted list of vitamins and minerals, effectively a 'positive list' of allowable nutrients. EU member states will be mandated to market these 'harmonised' supplements, facilitating trade."

"The THMPD is a part of the existing Pharmaceuticals Directive, currently being amended to widen the scope of drug classification. According to the amendment, anything that 'restores, corrects or modifies physiological function' in the body will be deemed a drug. The directive will have power to take precedence over both the FSD and THMPD, even though they may all be applicable to the same natural food supplement.

Public safety is cited as the motivating force behind these directives."

Europe to ban hundreds of herbal remedies

"Safety concerns sparked drive to outlaw products"

Herbal medicines banned as EU directive comes into force

"Some of the most commonly used products were saved after the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley approved a plan for the Health Professions Council to establish a register of practitioners supplying unlicensed herbal medicines.

However, many remedies were lost as it was only open to those who could afford the licensing process which costs between £80,000 to £120,000."

I'm guessing after witnessing 13 years of political spin, the endless alarmist news items about tobacco, may have been partly as a cover for what was quietly being taken from everyone.


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