Labour’s Damien O’Connor said both the National Government and Fonterra had to explain to consumers, farmers and outside investors why disclosure did not occur back in September or New Zealand’s reputation for transparency around food safety and investment issues remained at risk.
Federated Farmers said continual testing for impurities and open disclosure was why NZ primary exports were of the highest quality. Food safety spokesman Dr William Rolleston said DCDs were considered safe.
“We are here now because there is no internationally agreed acceptable level for DCD residues, meaning the default becomes the level of detection.”
Green Party agriculture spokesman Steffan Browning said the solution was less reliance on industrial dairying.
If the land couldn’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".
Fish and Game chief executive Bryce Johnson said farmers using nitrogen (N) inhibitors were operating “right at the limits of farming”. They should reduce their stocking rates and reduce their fertiliser application. No compensation should be paid as he said the farming industry had been receiving a substantial environmental subsidy from the public for years.
Rather than be compensated, farmers had a "duty" to "back off".