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NZ to establish post-WPC scare food safety advisory panel

By Mark Astley+

23-Apr-2014

NZ to establish post-WPC scare food safety advisory panel

Following last year's whey protein concentrate (WPC) botulism scare, the New Zealand government has announced plans to establish a Food Safety and Assurance Advisory Council that will provide it with independent advice on food safety issues.

Unveiling the plans, New Zealand Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye claimed that the panel, which will have up to six members, will provide a “valuable sounding board for new ideas and contribute to raising consumer and market confidence in New Zealand’s food.”

The Council, which will report to the Director General of the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), is one of the 29 recommendations of a government inquiry into last year’s Fonterra whey protein concentrate (WPC) botulism scare.

“At the moment there is no independent group that looks at the whole of New Zealand’s food safety and assurance system and is able to provide high-level independent advice and risk analysis,” said Kaye.

“While New Zealand’s food regulatory system is considered among the best in the world, market demands and expectations are changing rapidly. We need to be one-step ahead if we want to maintain our edge as one of the world’s best food producers."

"This council will be valuable in adding to our knowledge and expertise," she added.

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