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Opposition: Australia's food labeling policy risks jobs
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18:01, August 07, 2009

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The Australian government had risked 250,000 jobs by failing to clarify the "country of origin" labeling on manufactured goods, the Opposition agriculture spokesman John Cobb said on Friday.

Cobb said figures from the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) from February to May 2009 showed just under 240,000 kilograms of home brand peanut butter was imported from China.

More than 994,000 kilos of nuts and 454,706 kilograms of prawns and shrimps were imported from China alone, he said.

Currently, while fresh food in supermarkets has to stipulate where it comes from, manufactured or processed food on shelves in supermarkets is not subject to the same regulations.

Australia's food manufacturing sector was the largest remaining that employed more than 250,000 people and there was a danger of those jobs going the way as the nation's clothing and manufacturing sector, Cobb said.

"The government promised to end the confusion surrounding food labeling by 'clarify country of labeling requirements'," he said. "However, Australians still don't have a clue about where their food is being grown and manufactured."

Source: Xinhua

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