28 Nov 2007

NZ's Health Minister rejects call to ban export of fatty meats to Pacific region

12:10 pm on 28 November 2007

The New Zealand Health Minister, David Cunliffe, has rejected a call to ban the export of fatty meats to the Pacific region.

The call came from Parliament's health select committee following an inquiry earlier this year into rising levels of obesity and type-two diabetes.

Among its recommendations the committee had recommended that the New Zealand Government, the Meat Industry and Pacific nations work together to phase out the export of fatty meats such as mutton flaps to those countries.

The Government says it doesn't agree with banning the trade outright.

But it will work with Pacific countries to improve the quality of those products by reducing the fat content of sheep meat flaps and to reduce consumption of fatty meat products.

It says Government agencies have met meat industry representatives to discuss the issue.

The meat industry says the trade in those products to the Pacific is small and it has been working with the Government for several years on a nutrition education programme in the Pacific region.