October 22nd 2005

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: JI's blood-stained prints on the Bali bombings

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Howard's biggest gamble since the GST

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Public outcry against human cloning

NEW ZEALAND ELECTION: How Helen Clark snatched victory

CLIMATE: Don't get steamed up over Arctic melting

ISLAM: Why Indian Muslims reject extremism

SCIENCE AND RELIGION: The rise and rise of Intelligent Design

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Too many crooks spoil the broth / Turkey's EU membership and some masterful wedge politics by Austria / Cultural revolution / Look back in anger / Marriage of science with home economics / The decoy ducks

SCHOOL FUNDING: Giving parents greater choice

DRUGS: New cannabis strategy urgently needed

MEDIA: Media authority blasts Ten's 'Big Brother Uncut'

OVERSEAS TRADE: Australia trading at a loss - myth and reality

ENERGY: US Pushes for energy self-reliance

Media cover-up of Saddam's WMDs (letter)

Rural Australians betrayed (letter)

Embryo vs. adult stem-cell research (letter)


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Rural Australians betrayed (letter)

by Margaret Menzel

News 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.

With all major political parties supporting these policies, will it take a national health crisis before such treachery and treason are abandoned?

Margaret Menzel,
Ayr, Qld.

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