Editorial: Quicker Govt action needed

By Doug Laing

A community's protest at what to all intents looks like packets of grass clippings being traded across the counter of one of its local dairies is a commendable response, even if that's all that's in the plastic wrapping.

No wonder it makes people sick.

But having glass clippings available at the corner store laced with some sort of chemical of which it seems little is known, is another thing.

Should not someone be making an order for immediate withdrawal from the market of all K2 - synthetic cannabinoid? - or anything which resembles it. After all, if this were a brand of peanut butter and someone had just discovered a pot or two with minute traces of something that looked like rat droppings, it'd be off the shelves straight away.

Or if it were a restaurant where the guests had succumbed to some unexplained illness, the doors would be closed until it was deemed safe for normal business to resume.

Thus we see in one of Parliament's longest inhabitants, 29-year MP Peter Dunne, Associate Health Minister and Honourable Member for significantly bush-clad Ohariu, a degree of buck-passing in urging communities to speak up against vendors.

The simple fact is that if the current K2 product is causing such things as paranoia, racing heart rates, vomiting and anxiety, or anything else similar to the frailties of a preceding line of K2 which was banned last month, it shouldn't have been in the hands of storekeepers at all, let alone their customers; much less, of course, the young people on the streets outside.

Mr Dunne tells us that it will be six months before legislation blocking such newly emerging products as K2 is in place, legislation aiming to put the onus on suppliers to ensure its safety and integrity before going to market, rather than once the vulnerable masses have started dropping afterwards.

Isn't that already the case? Isn't there already food, drug, consumer, environmental and health legislation that is supposed to protect us from the unknown additives defiling nature's best grub and the fresh air and water to which we are all entitled?

And if there isn't, why is Parliament not sitting under some sort of urgency? Parliaments, of all leanings, sit under urgency lots of times. Usually they do so when there is no real urgency at all, unless it's a question of the financial economy of the nation. Never mind a question of priorities.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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