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Delay in Country of Origin labelling reform hurts Victorian farmers and food manufacturers

Delay in Country of Origin labelling reform hurts Victorian farmers and food manufacturers

With reports that the Abbott government will not move to change country of origin food labelling laws until at least the end of the year, the Greens say there’s no reason for the delay.

“Victoria's farmers and food manufacturers are under pressure right now, and right now we’ve got a bill in the Parliament to help consumers give them support,” said Australian Greens Senator for Victoria Janet Rice.

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Country of Origin Labelling Timeline

1998
Senator Bob Brown moved amendments to the 'Made in Australia' legislation, and not one Labor or Coalition Senator supported move to make 'Made in Australia' labelling mean just that - 100% made in Australia.

August 2005
Senator Bob Brown introduced food labelling legislation to require all packaged and unpackaged food placed on the market in Australia must have a label identifying its country of origin

September 2005
Coalition and Labor oppose the Greens' Truth in Labelling Bill in the Senate

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Coalition’s delay on food labelling hurts consumers, farmers, themselves

The Australian Greens are calling on the Coalition to stop bickering and vote for clearer food labelling.

"The Country of Origin food labelling Bill that is currently before Parliament is the result of years of consultation with the industry. It deserves this government's support," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"This issue has cross-party support. Why would Barnaby Joyce deliberately reject the help of others who have a long-standing commitment to it?

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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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New food labelling laws urgent - Greens

Greens Leader Christine Milne has a food labelling bill ready to go and says the time is ripe for the Coalition government to help pass it.

"We have people being diagnosed with Hepatitis A from eating contaminated imported food, and we have people saying they don't know how to tell if they're buying Australian food. Let's fix the system," said Senator Milne.

"Big supermarkets and overseas food corporations have made it really difficult to know where our food comes from.

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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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