darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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November 5, 2010

State and Federal Governments are being urged to improve the system of food labelling to ensure that seafood consumers are not being ripped off by misleading advertising.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has raised the issue in Federal Parliament while Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce was briefed on local concerns during a meeting with the Lakes Entrance Fisherman’s Cooperative (LEFCOL).

Senator Joyce, who is the Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Water, spent two days in Gippsland with Mr Chester and The Nationals Candidate for Gippsland East Tim Bull meeting with local representatives from a variety of local industries.

He was impressed at the work being conducted at LEFCOL which is the largest supplier of fresh fish to the Melbourne Wholesale Fish Market and a major supplier to the Sydney Fish Market.

Senator Joyce had the opportunity to discuss food labelling, particularly country-of-origin labelling for cooked seafood.

“Australian food producers and consumers are being let down because of our food labelling laws, which are confusing and often misleading,” Senator Joyce said.

“Consumers should be able to make an informed decision to choose local produce over imports and they deserve to know what they are really buying.”

Mr Chester has raised the issue in Federal Parliament and noted that concerns over seafood labelling were part of a bigger problem.

“Consumers are keen to support Australian made products and Australian grown products, but it is difficult to do that under the current food labelling arrangements,” Mr Chester said.

“Even with the best will in the world it is almost impossible to track down with great confidence the country of origin of many of our food products.

“Governments should be implementing an easy to use system in the interests of consumers and local industries.”

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