Because of some silly treaty . . .

Can you pick and choose which parts of a treaty you abide by and which you don’t after you’ve signed it?

If you want to be trusted, as a country and government, I don’t think so without further negotiations. Sue Kedgley has another view:

. . . but she says we have to go ahead because of some silly treaty with Australia, . . .

She was referring to Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson during the Q & A discussion on adding folic acid to bread.

The possible risks of adding folic acid to everyone’s diet have been highlighted.  This post by Macdoctor  puts another side to the story and Otago University specialist in human nutrician, Professor Murray Skeaff says there’s no evidence adding folate to bread will increase the risk of cancer.

However, the opposition is likely to be based at least as much on emotion as science.

Regardless of the emotion and science there is also opposition to mass medication in general. I have a great deal of sympathy with that view, especially when it is aimed at a very small percentage of the population – women who are pregnant or about to be.

If taking extra folic acid can prevent birth defects it should be encouraged, but education for those who need it rather than medication of us all would be my preferred strategy.

I hope Wilkinson does everything she can to at least delay the compulsorary addition of folic acid to our bread.

However, if New Zealand signed a treaty with Australia, that may not be easy because we can’t just pick and choose which bits of a treaty we adhere to, even if it was a previous government which signed it.

If there’s a problem with its effect, there’s a process the government will have to go through to resolve it.

Disregarding the treaty because it’s “silly” isn’t an option because that would call into question New Zealand’s commitment to every other treaty it has signed.

3 Responses to Because of some silly treaty . . .

  1. Sally says:

    “… because that would call into question New Zealand’s commitment to every other treaty it has signed.”

    We should have been calling into question years ago the
    unbridled powers of our rulers who have signed our rights away by signing these treaties. Just look at the fiasco of KYOTO signed by a National government.


  2. dutchie down south says:

    One caller on Newstalk ZB gave a interesting comment yesterday…General H.Clark did what a great strategist would have done while retreating after a lost battle…place boobytraps and mines on your way out…and boy o boy, have we got a minefield here for our government.

    I have got the feeling that the problem with the people in general is not only folic acid as a medication, because I admit I don’t know a lot about the pro’s and con’s and I presume many NZers with me except for the information we all googled over the last couple of days, but the fact that we got mass medication forced upon us without been able to stop it or given an other choice (except for organic bread)
    A lot of people might feel that nothing has changed after 9 years of nanny state


  3. Pique Oil says:

    Perhaps a similar question could be asked about the Australian attitude to NZ apples and fireblight?


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