Rural Australians betrayed (letter)by Margaret MenzelNews Weekly
, October 22, 2005
Why do so many rural industry bodies, like the Beef Council, consistently act against the interests of their members and Australia? Were it not for the vigilance of the University of Sydney's Professor Linda Weiss, the Government and these industry bodies would lower our quarantine and trade standards without a murmur.
With bird 'flu rife in countries to our north, documented BSE (mad cow disease) outbreaks in the United States, the risk of foot-and-mouth disease from recent imports of Brazilian beef, outbreaks of citrus canker, etc., our quarantine laws should be strengthened.
Instead, the Federal Government has included a BSE side-letter in the US Free Trade agreement, which commits Australia to accepting inferior US BSE standards, thereby placing at risk our existing trade markets and our own food safety.
The US, by contrast, makes no allowances when its national interests are at stake - and nor should we.
This is the same political betrayal of Australians and our national interest that underlies the recent sale of Telstra and the destruction of so many of our rural and manufacturing industries through so-called free trade and National Competition Policy.
major political parties supporting these policies, will it take a national health crisis before such treachery and treason are abandoned?Margaret Menzel,