[29 November/NZ Herald]

Following Select Committee changes, pork products have now been included in a new food-labelling bill which has passed its final reading in Parliament. The Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill, which requires food to carry country of origin labelling, passed its third reading with almost unanimous support from all parties except Act. The foods covered are those with only one ingredient which are unprocessed or subject to minimal processing. They include fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, seafood and meat, including cured pork products such as ham and bacon. Tinned vegetables and fruit, and frozen mixed vegetables will not be covered. Act leader David Seymour said the law would effectively act as a new tax on consumers. Once the law is signed off, there will be 18 months for regulations to be put in place before the new labels are phased in over six months for fresh food and two years for frozen.  The bill also contains provisions for the Consumer Affairs Minister to add more foods to it at a later date.