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No extra food safety checks after Hep A outbreak

Under questioning by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, the Department of Agriculture has confirmed berries being imported to Australia are not being subjected to any extra safety checks, in spite of contaminated products sparking an outbreak of Hepatitis A.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr Paul Grimes has told a Senate Estimates hearing this morning, "We have not made changes on surveillance rates broadly at this stage."

Senator Siewert has described that as a completely ludicrous failure.

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Estimates: Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee (Department of Agriculture)

Senator RHIANNON: Which countries currently import kangaroo products?

Dr V Findlay : There are 68 countries. Just let me find my list, but I am not sure you want me to read out all 68.

Senator RHIANNON: No, I do not want you to read them out. Could you take it on notice, and could it include what kangaroo product is imported, the weight of the imports for each of those products and the financial value of each product, and could that be since June 2013?

Dr V Findlay : Yes, we have that information available.

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Greens food labelling reform to benefit Victorian producers

Greens food labelling reform to benefit Victorian producers

Food label claims about country of origin will be simpler and more accurate if a Greens bill introduced into federal Parliament is successful. 

“Victoria’s primary producers and local food industries are doing it tough right now and we must do all we can to support them,” said Greens Senator for Victoria Janet Rice.

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Greens introduce new 'country of origin' labelling laws to support local growers

The Australian Greens are urging the major parties support farmers and workers in the Riverland by backing a new push for country of origin labelling laws.

Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said the Greens would introduce new legislation for mandatory labelling in the Senate this week.

"Everyone wants to support our farmers and workers by buying local, but the current labelling laws are too confusing and can be misleading," said Senator Wright.

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Greens ramping up push for country of origin food labelling

This Australia Day weekend, Greens Leader Christine Milne is ramping up the campaign for country of origin food labelling to support Australian farmers and workers.

Senator Milne has announced that she will re-introduce the Greens bill for mandatory labelling as soon as parliament returns.

"Australia's farmers and food manufacturers are under pressure. Everyone wants to support our farmers and workers by buying local products but our current labelling is too confusing," said Senator Milne.

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Action on climate change, not prayer the answer for drought

The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to take meaningful action on climate change to combat the long term threat that drought poses to Australia's agricultural sector.

"Support for farmers and growers facing drought is very important, but it is not a long term solution," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

"More extreme droughts as a result of global warming aren't a one-off problem. The future of farming families depends on addressing the changing climate as part of our response to drought.

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Liberal Senator's ag-gag bill targets whistleblowers

Liberal Senator Chris Back's bill to prosecute whistleblowers who expose animal cruelty should not be passed as it would restrict the important role of whistleblowers and investigators working to end animal cruelty, Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"Undercover investigators play an important role exposing abuse of animals which, in many cases leads to prosecutions.

"The reframing of such actions as ‘criminal' by Senator Back attempts to divert attention from those who commit the animal cruelty.

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Biosecurity bill undermined by budget cuts

The Australian Greens said today that Government's efforts on biosecurity are undermined by their reckless budget cuts and lack of meaningful action on climate change.

"The Government has lauded the fact they've introduced their biosecurity bill to Parliament today, but they're ignoring the fact that their budget cuts are actively undermining Australia's biosecurity protections," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens agriculture spokesperson said today.

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