Japanese glyphosate scare highlights lack of regulation in New Zealand

A blasé approach to glyphosate regulation in New Zealand threatens our international reputation and poses a risk to New Zealand consumers, Soil & Health Association spokesperson Jodie Bruning said today.

“Japanese authorities have now rejected five shipments of glyphosate-contaminated honey from New Zealand’.

“New Zealand needs to take glyphosate contamination seriously. The International Agency for Cancer has recognised glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. Bayer, the producer of Roundup, has already paid over NZ$15 billion NZD to nearly 100,000 individuals around the world who developed cancer after being exposed to glyphosate-based herbicides.

“We support Apiculture New Zealand’s call to have a national conversation.

‘We believe the New Zealand government can adopt a more nuanced approach to glyphosate. This is not an all or nothing conversation. Farmers can still have access, but glyphosate can be more cautiously regulated to ensure premium exporters don’t get nasty surprises like the honey exporters have received with these rejected shipments.

Controls have been placed on honey exporters by MPI following Japan’s announcement that glyphosate residue had been found above the allowable limit. Jodie Bruning says these controls are necessary, but continue to place the burden of responsibility on the honey industry.

“It’s not the beekeepers or honey industry’s fault that glyphosate regulation in New Zealand is so poor.

“We don’t have prudent controls on the use of glyphosate in New Zealand and it’s time we realised that consumers who care about food, care that it is not contaminated with a probable carcinogen.

“Glyphosate is a contaminant and a health risk. Whatever we do to protect our export markets will ultimately protect our freshwater, our soils and our families.

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