Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Now, Hang On A Minute........! Updated

There's not a food safety risk, according to the Food Safety Authority but it has still seized some tonnes of honey being processed in Timaru.

On what grounds? If the allegation is that the honey might not be genuine Manuka Honey then surely that is a matter for the Commerce Commission? What the hell is the FSA doing sticking it's nose into something which by its own admission is not its business? If I were the owner of the honey, I would be having my lawyers talk very hard to these people.

A phone call to the FSA elicits the following response from one Geoff Allen:-

NZFSA last month detained a large consignment of product labelled as honey in Timaru. We are gathering information to determine whether the product complies with the Animal Products Act and the Food Act. There will be no further comment until the investigation is complete.

Adolf awaits a phone call advising hem where he can see the justifying legislation.

From the RNZ piece comes this curious comment:-

"Mr Rowlands says the investigation is about protecting market integrity for exporters."
Adolf would very much like to see the legislative justification for this organisation to engage in the activities of a commercial watch dog. One would imagine that if there has been established that there is no safety issue, the product should be returned to its rightful owner who can get on with running his business.

Then, if his competitors think he is selling product under a false label, they should complain to the commerce commission.

One wonders how long it will take to "gather information." The product was seized last month so it is likely the FSA has been poking around for at least a month. How do you tell if honey is in fact Manuka honey and not Rata honey or Totara honey or Gorse honey? One would not think it should take more than a couple of weeks to run some simple tests. Or is it the case that Manuka Honey producers simply 'peer review' each other's product and keep it all in a little club?

Update 1430: There is more to this than meets the eye, apparently. A phone call from Geoff Allen indicates the possibility of an interesting story emerging over coming weeks. And yes, the FSA DOES have a role, not widely known, in verifying labelling standards from time to time.

Update II 0945 20th Jan:- Radio Left Wing screwed up. The honey was NOT seized. It is being held by the owner who himself asked the FSA to carry out tests to ensure quality control. The owner of the honey initiated the enquiry to the FSA as part of quality control.

No wonder journalists are treated as scum.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Mr Rowlands says the investigation is about protecting market integrity for exporters."

What utter bollocks...the NZFSA say what ever suits their purpose at any given time.

From my experience, which included meetings with the minister, "protecting market integrity" takes second place to whatever the Governments objectives may be at the time