ALP and Liberals have conspired for decades to kill the Australian food industry

26 February 2015: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter and Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon addressed the press gallery in Canberra today after the latest imported food scare in which four people are reported to have fallen ill with potentially deadly fish poising after eating tuna imported from Thailand.

“We have warned continuously that there are serious disease issues in the product coming into Australia,” Mr Katter said.

“The issue today is tuna. What we absolutely know is that the prawn and the fish farms in the countries north of Australia, where the vast bulk of Australian fish farming takes place, dump raw sewerage into the rivers and creeks and that water is put into the fish farms.

“It’s not only the bacteria, but to fight the bacteria, there’s the issue of antibiotics.

“Let us at least let consumers protect themselves. We want a label. They put it on cigarettes and hundreds of other items,” Mr Katter said.

Mr Katter announced that he and Hon. Andrew Wilkie, member for Denison, had co-sponsored the Imported Food Warning Labels Bill 2015 to be introduced into Parliament on Monday, which seeks that all imported food products carry the label:

Warning: Imported food. This food has not been grown or processed under Australian health and hygiene standards and may be injurious to your health.”

The Bill mirrors legislation introduced by Mr Katter and Mr Wilkie in 2013.

“Had the Government listened 2 years ago, people would not be sick now,” Mr Katter said.

“The consumer should have a freedom of choice. He doesn’t have a choice at the moment as he doesn’t know where the product comes from.”

Mr Katter said that he Andrew Wilkie represented the vast bulk of what was left of the Australia’s prawn and fish market.

“My prawn farmers, an industry worth about $600 million a year, has been destroyed down to about $30 million a year. Why? Because we have hygiene and environmental standards that are not applied to overseas producers. It doubled our cost of production and we were wiped out.

“Our industries are being destroyed, because there is one set of rules being applied to our producers and an entirely different set of rules being applied to the imports.

“Our farmers have been paying the penalty. But today, consumers are paying the penalty,” Mr Katter said.