The Select Committee for the Food Safety Law Reform Bill is sitting in Parliament and Tricia Cheel had managed to hurriedly put through her objections to it before the elections so was pleased to be able to front up to them – over the phone – on Thursday 20th October in a 10 minute session. Because there was so much ground covered and not much time left for questions the committee, chaired by Ian McIver asked that she send in a transcript if possible, so here it is – with the addition of a couple of cartoons because a picture’s worth a thousand words?
11am Thursday 20th October 2016 – Ministry of Primary Industries Food Safety Law Reform Bill – Select Committee
Good morning – I am Tricia Cheel – and as a convener of the coalition, STOP Trashing Our Planet, I am here to represent not only myself and my family, but also the 7 to 10,000 people who voted for STOP in the recent local body elections. I believe many more would have responded to our platform if given the opportunity.
WE have just marked World Food Day on Sunday 16th October in support of the Citizen’s Tribunal – the People v. Monsanto – held in The Hague; to hold Monsanto accountable for ecocide and crimes against humanity because world governments and courts have failed to protect us from them and other corrupt extravagant profiteering corporate activities that poison our food air, water and soils; buy off regulatory agencies, politicians and doctors; finance fraudulent scientific studies; discredit independent scientists and manipulate the media in order to brainwash the public. . . and that’s just for starters! We want you to stand up to these greedy corporates and see ALL UNNECESSARY toxic and polluting substances and practices banned: for the sake of our children and ALL life on earth.
It doesn’t make sense to destroy any part of the living world when we have already lost 50% of wildlife in the past 40 years and are in the middle of the 5th or 6th great extinction that has been recorded. And besides, why take the inherent risks of using such substances and practices when there is no need to?
As the co-ordinator of Friends of Sherwood for the past 26 years, I know that glyphosate & other toxic chemicals are totally UNNECESSARY for urban weed control – for instance. We are a community group formed in June 1990 to prevent our local playground from being poisoned with Roundup. From the playground we extended out activities to include the whole park, and then the surrounding streets, until in 1996 we had council contracts to manage the whole of East Coast Bays until rudely bumped aside by the hotwater system. FOS have also planted 30,000 natives along the stream bank to improve the water quality with an Infrastructure Auckland grant matched by NSCC in a half-million $ project that did not use a drop of Roundup / or glyphosate! It can be done and must be done! We have worked hard to have a beautiful and healthy neighbourhood in which to live, as free as possible of toxic chemicals, waste and other pollution; and I see no reason why the rest of New Zealand shouldn’t enjoy the same benefits.
20 years ago I was co-founder of the Fluoridation Information Network or F.I.N. – because once you have ALL the information you’ll want an END to fluoridation: because I have always seen it as a violation of our right to choose what we put into our own bodies – our personal sovereignty – that my father and grandfather thought they risked their lives to defend in World Wars I & II.
However it wasn’t until this very day 4 years ago – on 20th October 2012 – when I suddenly stopped drinking Auckland’s fluoridated tap water – totally – that I discovered just how badly fluoride had blighted my life for 35 years since moving to Auckland in 1977: And previously at Glendowie College in 1967 – the year Auckland began putting this highly toxic industrial waste product, from the filthy chimneys of the phosphate fertiliser factories, into the pubic water supply: And as I floundered through 3 years at the new Auckland Medical School. It explains why I felt perfectly fine in the holidays, back home in non-fluoridated Dargaville. I won’t bore you with all the details except to say that within a day or two of not drinking the tap water at all, I experienced a tremendous improvement in my health and well being, and numerous other symptoms improved and even disappeared totally. If you are further interested, my experience is written up on the Fluoridation Information Network’s FB page of the same name, under the picture of a sinking battleship – because that’s how I felt. So naturally I want to know if any food or beverage offered for sale is prepared with fluoridated water: just as those with peanut allergies need to know if there is even a hint of nuttiness in their food too: because their life may depend on it.
I want to know about all the other things that I have asked for too because in June 2015 the 100 millionth chemical was registered with CAS – Chemical Abstracts Services. On average CAS has registered 1 substance every 2.5 minutes over the past 50 years. (Started in 1965 as a project to uniquely identify and track chemical substance information, the CAS Registry system is the only complete and accurate source of unique identifiers, known as CAS Registry Numbers for all organic and inorganic substances disclosed in scientific publications and other reputable sources. )
CAS claims that: “With no signs that chemical innovation is slowing, the current pace of substances added to the CAS REGISTRY over the next 50 years would suggest registration of more than 650 million new chemical substances . . . and that number may well be significantly higher.” Many of these new chemicals are not robustly tested for safety and none in combination with the other 99,999,999 or more substances. This is alarming given that with an LD 50 of arsenic, 50% of lab rats will die: and same with an LD50 dose of lead; but when given together 100% will die – the synergistic effect.
We have just marked 15 years since 9/11 and the NZ Herald ran an article describing the ‘Second Wave of Killers’ as those at Ground Zero are now developing debilitating and lethal conditions from the exposure to that toxic soup. If we make the comparison with a study in 2005 where the Red Cross found 287 foreign chemicals in the placentas of new born babies. It should ring alarm bells that the first environment a foetus encounters, the mother’s body, is so contaminated. This is a soup just as toxic as that at Ground Zero: and even more dangerous because a foetus is even more susceptible to such things as endocrine disruption and geno-toxicity than the grown-ups at 9/11. I am convinced that the soaring rates of diseases are from our own health 9/11 where the population has been exposed to wave after wave of killers such as DDT, PCB’s, Agent Orange, dioxins, cadmium, mercury & lead etc; but also 60 years of 1080 poison 50 years of fluoride in Auckland alone; 40 years of glyphosate; increasing traffic pollution and more and more use of more and more chemicals in air, food, water; and the tremendous increase in plastics and other products emitting and leaching VOCs and other poisons; and the all the household and personal formulations, prescripton drugs even, that cannot possibly be tested in all the myriad combinations and permutations that we are all now exposed to.
We don’t have to look far to explain the 40% increase in childhood cancers in the UK in 16 years: nor the 59% increase in breast cancers in women under 45 in New Zealand in 13 years: and that concerns me greatly considering the Minister for Food Safety was asked, over 2 years ago, to ensure that GE soy was labelled: and now she has fallen victim herself to years of negligence by successive governments in not protecting us all from this contamination and degradation of our air, water and food; and the whole eco-system that our good health depends upon: I was told that this minister has in fact gone to Germany for treatment and if this is true, I hope this government needs is prepared to send any of us who want to, to Germany also for treatment – since it appears our own health system is inadequate or overburdened already? – and since most of us could not afford to go otherwise – if that is indeed where the best chance of recovery lies.
It is not just our health system buckling under the strain of this toxic load on the living world, but also the environment itself – that we depend upon : not only is there predicted to be a three-fold increase in Alzheimers by 2050: if we continue on as usual there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050: The Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII) has already fallen below the ‘safe’ level of change of 90%; Which all spells disaster for our ‘Rockstar economy’, because it is impossible to have a thriving economy if too many people fall sick and the environment collapses. This is a veritable tsunami of death and disease which will make the Minister of the Environment’s RAT PLAGUE OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS pale into insignificance: And indeed the Minister of Conservation’s drastic plan to have a predator Free NZ by 2050 will no doubt ensure another wave of killers from the massive increase in the already disastrous use of 1080 and other poisons: I suspect this is also ‘softening the public up’ to make GE ‘acceptable’: and GE can be expected to cause yet another killer wave in NZ: if it isn’t already from the unlabelled products that have made their way into our diet.
To make my final point, and return to the matter in hand – since having children I have always tried to eat and live as naturally as possible; using non-toxic products where ever I could etc, but organic food always appeared to be a luxury I couldn’t afford to buy much of. However since realising just how much damage even a glass of contaminated water could do to me, I have gradually bought more and more organic food – and was amazed when I switched to organic flour that the next Fielder’s sponge I baked – with organic eggs as well, of course – tasted just like those we used to make as a treat, growing up in the 50‘s & 60’s.
Considering the recipe uses just 2 teaspoons of flour it was a very sobering reminder to me to keep as far away as possible from all the artificial components now contaminating our food supply; and I hope it will spur you on to make my quest for better health possible by insisting on a comprehensive description of what is contained in any so-called food or beverage; how and where it is produced; by whom; when; what was used in producing and processing it; and warning labels on the possible harm it may do to the various targeted consumers; especially the young , the old, and the sick; just as now happens with the possibility of contamination by peanuts.
Even better would be to ban any non-natural – that is ‘non-food’ – ingredients presently masquerading as, and being sold as ‘food’.
Thank you. I welcome your questions or enquiries. Tricia Cheel
With reference to the question from Richard Prosser – whether the proposal to put a scannable label on products that could give the detailed information I am requesting: it would help in my quest for healthy food but unfortunately won’t address the pressing health problems that are crippling our health system because many people are unaware of the dangers and / or don’t care.
Just as with cigarettes, these damaging non-foods should have plain packaging with large graphic pictures of the health dangers people risk from ingesting them. Regulators have sacrificed public health and safety to corporate greed and profits for far too long – it is time to stand up for the public good.
Here are the original hurried suggestions for this bill – showing that it is more important to just get it in and ask to speak, because you then have time to tidy it up or expand the message.
Item of business : Food Safety Law Reform Bill
Submission name : Patricia CHEEL
I am not a lawyer nor can I afford one to browse through this bill so I must rely on the committee’s understanding of the relevant legislationnt to consume any canola oil or palm oil etc.
And I want to know if the ‘natural’ flavours really are from natural sources or manufactured as ‘nature identical’.
I want to know that all food at risk of pesticide residue is tested regularly and labelled as such:
and I want to know what pesticides have been used in the production of any food
the maximum residue levels have not been met
because I want to be able to gauge for myself whether to risk the combinations have been employed.
I want to know if any food has been fumigated and with what and when and where.
including glyphosate because despite the EPA’s refusal to recognise the danger, it affects me badly.
I want to know that these regulations are properly enforced because I have been caught out too many times assuming that all irradiated food
would be labelled only to find it isn’t in some shops.
I want to make sure that organic producers are not burdened with any unnecessary regulations because they have already shown that they care about the land
and the people they may nourish and they should be given every support to get their produce to people as easily and quickly as possible to retain the goodness
and make for the healthiest possible population.
We cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy population and since organically produced food is the healthiest I want this committee to make sure this bill
doesn’t impede organic farmers and producers in any way: whilst being very vigilant with any food produced by poisons and dodgy processes like irradiation and fumigation,
and from countries with suspect food practices.
I have found that grapes from Chile for instance often affect my breathing even when I have washed them thoroughly.
I think that just about sums it up . . . for now.