Nandor is supporting the food bill =\

I was horrified to see that Nandor is not really opposing the food bill and actually states that it will outlaw simple battering and trade in a beurocratic control of the food supply yet he is somewhat supporting it by saying it won’t really effect us what a load of bull s*** Nandor I am not at all impressed and you call yourself a greenie rastafarianwhat a joke—blog/tabid/1341/articleID/243163/Default.aspx

Firstly, the bill will not affect people who grow or process food for  themselves and their family or keep seed. The bill does affect people who sell  or trade food, including barter, but how much depends of the scale and type of  the operation. Keep in mind that barter is not the same as reciprocal gift  giving of excess harvest. Barter is a commercial transaction (maintaining value)  while gift giving is a social transaction (maintaining relationships). The bill  does not mention gift giving at all but I’d argue it does not apply to it.

At the lowest end of the scale, some people who trade food will have no new  obligations under the bill. They will be subject to “food handler guidelines” but these will be educative only. This will be for things like clubs providing  food to members secondary to an activity, school fairs, growers that sell at the  farm gate or at farmers markets, very small scale or home-based production,  people who sell things like chippies only, childcare providers where food  handling is no more than, say, cutting up apples. This is not a complete list  and schedule 3 of the bill sets it out in more detail.

The next level is where people have to go on a public register and will have  to comply with a National Programme. These will be designed to identify and deal  with potential health risks from food production. NB This will almost certainly  not deal with things like pesticide residues or GMOs, but will be aimed at  hygiene and gross contamination etc. They will also specify what paperwork  businesses need to do to reassure the Ministry that they are complying. National  Programmes with be at three levels of hassle, depending on type of business.

Level 1, the easiest, will cover honey, wholesale horticultural growers and  pack houses, sugar refineries, people who sell hot drinks and prepackaged foods  only, ice cream and ice block makers and food transportation companies.

Level 2 will include bakeries that only make bread, residential child care,  lolly makers, dehydrated fruits, crisps and popcorn, jam, pickles and preserves,  water and ice, frozen food (not ice cream), cereals and biscuits.

Level 3 businesses include those that make things like alcohol and  non-alcohol drinks, edible oils and margerines, food additives (incl. vitamins  and minerals), flours and grains and things like dairies with pick ‘n’ mix  lollies and garages that heat up pies. Again, a full list of what is covered in  set out in schedule 2 of the bill.

The heaviest regulation comes for businesses that have to register a Food  Control Plan. This includes the food retail sector (bakeries, dairies that make  filled rolls, fish mongers and butchers), food service sector (on premises, home  or commercial delivery, take away and mobile) and manufacturers of everything  from dairy products, herbs, dips and nuts to commercially sterilised food, dry  powders and vegetable proteins. The full list is set out in schedule 1 of the  bill.

A Food Control Plan must begin with a detailed description of the business  including the type of food it deals with and the nature of the business. It must  identify all the hazards and risks and set out how the business will deal with  them. It must also set out who is responsible for the plan and verification  procedures.

The plan can be developed by an individual business or adapted from someone  else’s. It can also be based on a template that the Ministry may develop for  different classes of business. The plan must be registered and approved – in  practise by the local authority under powers delegated by the Ministry. There  are a range of procedures for amending, approving and appealing.

The bill also has special clauses for winemakers and requires importers to be  registered on a public register and comply with certain requirements.

If a lot of this looks like incredibly bureaucratic paper-shuffling, that’s  because it is. Making dairies write a Food Control Plan with all the on-going  verification and paperwork that goes with it because they make filled rolls is  kind of bizarre. What’s more, if the dairy gets sold the new owner has to  register a new Food Control Plan. I seriously doubt that filled rolls and samosa  from the local Four Square present enough of a health risk to New Zealanders to  warrant this kind of bureaucratic overkill.

In fact I don’t know any significant problems with the way the system  operates now that deserves this level of intervention. The current Food Act from  1981 probably does need updating but this is something far more ambitious than  that. It’s Ministry empire building.


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