FGC on WPC inquiry report

Press Release 11/12/13

The report of the independent inquiry into the whey protein concentrate incident released today reaffirms to the world that New Zealand has one of the best and safest food production and regulatory systems, says Food & Grocery Council CEO Katherine Rich.

“The inquiry was chaired by Queen’s Counsel Miriam Dean, who was joined by two highly respected food safety experts from Australia and New Zealand. Their report was independently peer reviewed by international food safety expert Professor Alan Reilly, the Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

“Their thorough analysis is a significant audit of the New Zealand food safety system.

“The report reaffirms that New Zealand is a world leader in food safety, with one of the best and safest food production systems in the world.

“FGC welcomes and supports the key finding that the whey protein concentrate incident was not the result of any failure in the New Zealand food regulatory framework.

“The report gave the opportunity for New Zealand to review the current system, but more importantly consider how it can be improved in the future.

“It was important for the inquiry to look at how our regulatory system can be enhanced so that we continue to lead the world, and the inquiry panel has done a thorough job of that.

“All the recommendations are positive or constructive, and FGC applauds the Government for supporting all recommendations in principle.

“Ideas such as the establishment of a Food Safety Advisory Council and better alignment of all relevant New Zealand food laws will be welcomed by our members.

“It’s good news that the Food Bill has been given the green light to be passed as soon as possible because it’s a vital update to New Zealand’s food law.”