Hard sell comes after milk taint hushed up
Damien O'Connor | Monday, January 28, 2013 - 15:36
It is a bit rich of the Government to deny any attempt to cover up the fact chemical residue has been found in New Zealand-sourced milk given it spent the last three months working out how to ‘sell’ the news to the public, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson, Damien O’Connor says.
“Minister David Carter is being specious in his arguments about transparency. He knew about the issue in September, the same month Fonterra discovered traces of DCD in New Zealand milk. The first statement the Ministry put out about it appeared last week, and only because of media speculation.
“How Mr Carter can now say the Government has been ‘upfront’ about something it was obviously trying to keep from the public is beyond me.
“Whether it was hushed up for three months because of food safety fears or concern over the float of Fonterra units, all it’s done is put off the hard-sell.
“Both the National Government and Fonterra have to explain to consumers, farmers and outside investors why disclosure did not occur back in September.
“If not, then New Zealand’s reputation for transparency around food safety and investment issues remains at risk.
“The whole saga would have been done and dusted if there had been a more open conversation from the beginning.”