NZ: MPI Monitoring of Irradiated Australian Tomato Labelling

Once again the importation of Irradiated Australian tomatoes has instigated much discussion around the requirements for labelling. A recent complaint forwarded to TNZ provided information about a retailer selling Australian tomatoes without irradiation signage and also labelling them as New Zealand tomatoes.

MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) responded to this complaint by firstly visiting the retailer and confirming that both the allegations were correct. They then wrote a warning letter to the company directors indicating the next time this situation arises they may be prosecuted. Also, MPI referred the issue to the Commerce Commission as labelling the tomatoes as New Zealand rather than Australian breaches the Fair Trading Act.

We are hopeful that this sends a clear message that labelling Irradiated Australian tomatoes is a legal obligation and when not done correctly may result in significant consequences. 


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