Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Food labels and corporations.

I read with interest today that New Zealand has opted not to go with Country of Origin labelling (cool) of food. This I find disappointing for two reasons:

i) The protocol has already been adopted in Australia and therefore New Zealand goods have to be labelled accordingly so our biggest trading partner can engage in the sort consumer choices, (protectionism) that we are denied. I get the feeling New Zealand loses out here.

ii) I’m peeved because I won’t be able to choose local produce, which I have done since settling here. Worse for me is the thought that I would end up buying US or Israeli fruit which I have boycotted for years.

The NZ government’s view is summed up thus "Mandatory COOL is potentially an unnecessary barrier to international trade.".

Others said: The FSANZ labelling plan was criticised earlier this year by Wellington economists as having the potential to add costs without adding "significant consumer value".

I clearly Disagree with consumer value where it seems only to represent price/profits.

I can only imagine in the absence of any useful reasoning in favour of this act (which seems to contradict economic and green reasoning for buying Kiwi Made) that NZ is bound by some free trade deals with a big partner.

So let me get this right……….consumer choice only operates where there is a buck to be made. That’s the way it seems to read here.

I was more encouraged by this post by Pax. Its good to see peolpe in the states still fighting for the soul of the America we thought we trusted. After the second world war Tommy (british soldiers) came back and voted in a government for social welfare, which though battered has been a cornerstone of british life for nearly 50 years.

Then I remind myself that the Labour government I first voted for before I left was supposed to be different from the Tories . It wasn't and I was already leaving anyway. But Pax makes the point that this is what we should expect becuase its no longer about goverment and opposition but about people versus the needs of corporate share capital. How much mony do they need and can we make them quit ? Or is it true about greedy bastards who won't give up.

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