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Food Safety Law Reform Bill

Introduced on June 2. An omnibus bill following the Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination Incident. The Inquiry focused solely on the dairy sector. However, the Bill amends all three of the main food safety Acts—the Animal Products Act, the Food Act, and the Wine Act 2003. The fundamental model of the current system is not being changed, the Bill enables regulations to set requirements on the form and manner in which risk-based plans and programmes must be supplied. The Bill also provides for regulations to set traceability and recall requirements. First reading debate interrupted on August 9 with parties indicating general support. Debate completed on August 16 with the support of all parties and sent to the Primary Production Committee. Reported back on December 19 with minor changes. The committee rejected bids to insert mandatory labelling on country of origin and genetic modification. The committee was sympathetic to submissions small scale food manufacturers were being hit with high compliance costs but said it was outside the scope of the Bill. Second reading completed on June 22 with all parties in agreement. Committee stage interupted on August 16 with NZ First indicating it was withdrawing support due to the compliance costs for small producers. Committee stage interrupted again on Dec 6 and 12, though NZ First indicated it would now support the Bill. Committee stage completed on Feb 14. Third reading interrupted Feb 20 and completed on Feb 22. Food Safety Law Reform Bill