South Australia has a new law on canned vegetables and its supporters say it’s about protecting the state’s food supply.
The bill is the latest in a series of restrictions put in place by the South Australian Government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s about food security and preventing people from making purchases that can’t be safely done, Mr Gillard said.
“We are protecting our food supply by ensuring that we have food for our people, not for the corporations that profit from it,” she said.
“So if you buy something that you know is going to be unsafe for your family, then you can make an informed choice.”
The legislation aims to keep the Australian diet safe from the coronivirus outbreak, and it comes in the midst of a national debate about what food products can be safely used in Australia.
Health Minister Michael McCormack said the legislation would give people more control over their food purchases.
He said the Government had already implemented a number of food safety measures.
Mr McCormack pointed to an agreement with the United States, Australia’s biggest food exporter, that the State Government has signed.
In addition to the restrictions on canned food, the South Australia legislation also requires retailers to label the contents of packaged food and any food product with a potential health risk.
Ms Gillard, who is also the Minister for Health, said South Australia would be the first state in Australia to implement a similar law.
South Australia is the third largest food producer in the world.
Food shortages are a serious problem in the state, and people in the affected areas are forced to make do with food they have to sell.
But the South African food industry has taken steps to make sure South Australia’s food supplies remain safe.
There are some restrictions on imported foods and most people who buy canned goods can import them from other countries, Mr McCormack added.
Some food products are only allowed to be imported to South Australia if they are made from locally-grown produce.
The legislation also bans the sale of certain items that contain animal products.
On Thursday, the State Opposition accused the Government of a “complete and utter lack of respect” for the people of South Australia.
“We know that South Australians have been dealing with some very serious food shortages for the last six months, so we’re really disappointed that the Government would not even consider a bill to address that,” Mr McColl said.