Zero is the right level for a new chemical found in our milk, and the National Government shouldn't settle for less, the Green Party said today.
Recent media reports in the United States and China have questioned the safety of New Zealand milk after traces of the chemical Dicyandiamide (DCD), used in farming and found in milk tested by Fonterra.
"Our 100% pure marketing advantage is crucially important to our farmers, and we should be protecting it, not asking the rest of the world to expect less than 100%," said Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning.
"Primary Industries Minister David Carter is banking on China and Taiwan setting a limit for DCD that is higher than the levels found," said Mr Browning.
"The Minister is relying on other countries to accept higher levels of chemicals in the food we sell them. We should be providing them with the clean products they want - instead of crossing our fingers that they won't mind having chemicals in their food.
"The solution is less reliance on industrial dairy; if our land can't support it then we need to be looking at what we can produce while protecting our environment and providing clean food to our markets.
"There are thousands of dairy farms that don't use this chemical in New Zealand, and yet their markets have also been put at risk.
"Even the Prime Minister has admitted that it's a massive task to repair our reputation once it has been damaged. We need to work harder on keeping 100% pure intact," said Mr Browning.