Greenpeace escalates pressure to prompt food safety legislation timetable

Press release - 2007-04-16
Greenpeace activists today occupy the lift lobby of Central's Murray Building, where the headquarters of the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau (HWFB) is located, with a banner "Safe Vegetables Now!", showing their dissatisfactory on the Government's response recently. The group demands the Government to announce a timetable on the legislation of pesticide residue standard, and guarantee the Bill of Food Safety Law should be submitted to Legco within the Legislative Year 2007-2008. The group also demands monitoring on fruit and vegetables should be included once the Law becomes effective.

Greenpeace activists today occupy the lift lobby of Central's Murray Building, where the headquarters of the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau (HWFB) is located, with a banner "Safe Vegetables Now!", showing their dissatisfactory on the Government's response recently. The group demands the Government to announce a timetable on the legislation of pesticide residue standard, and guarantee the Bill of Food Safety Law should be submitted to Legco within the Legislative Year 2007-2008. The group also demands monitoring on fruit and vegetables should be included once the Law becomes effective.

Chow Yuen-ping, Assistant Campaigner of Food Safety, Greenpeace points out, "It has been a year since we first exposed toxic pesticide found in vegetables, citizens are still at risk. We are here today, with non-violent direct action, pressing the Government to face the problem."  The group will not retreat until the HWFB meet the demand.

On April 12, Greenpeace exposed again that vegetables contaminated by toxic pesticide are still found in local markets. Besides, the group also disclosed the Man Kam To Food Control Office exaggerates the vegetables inspection figures. The evidence proves that the monitoring system has not been improved since last year.  Together with the fruit and vegetables industry, consumer groups and community representatives, Greenpeace issued a joint statement urging the Government to speed up the legislation on fruit and vegetables imported to Hong Kong.

Although HWFB claimed the Government is drafting a new Food Safety Law which will cover high risk and most concerned food. Yet the Bureau declared in the legislative council before the new law will only prioritize fishes and eggs, while fruit and vegetables legislation timetable is absent. The legislation on pesticide residue standard is also missing.

"There is no guarantee of vegetable safety without the legislation! The Government should formulate the law without any delay." said Chow.

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