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Chinese vegetables sold to Australians as 'Made in NZ'

Published: 4:53PM Tuesday February 19, 2013 Source: Fairfax

Frozen Chinese vegetables are being sold in Australia labelled "Made in New Zealand", the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports .

AUSVEG spkesman Hugh Gurney told the ABC's AM programme that the vegetables were grown under conditions that were not acceptable in Australia.

Gurney says produce can leave China as a frozen product, then be packaged or modified in New Zealand, and then sent on to Australia under the labelling "Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients".

"Often this produce from China is actually grown in conditions which would not be permitted here, so we feel this is quite a deceptive practice," he told AM.

"This would be mainly frozen products like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and carrots. The product would come in maybe in a large frozen block. That would then be broken down into smaller sections, bagged up into plastic bags, frozen again, and then sent here to Australia."

It was confusing for consumers who believed they were eating New Zealand produce but it actually came from China.

Gurney said he wanted clearer labelling laws.

"We want people to be able to make the choice and have the right to choose Australian-grown product whenever they can as easily as possible."