March 4th 2006

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: NATIONAL SECURITY: The sum of all our fears - betrayal

AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS: AWB Iraq wheat sales debacle - whose responsibility now?

CANBERRA OBSERVED: RU-486 vote highlights MPs' moral confusion

EDITORIAL: Drugs: can we prevent more 'Bali Nine' trials?

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: March 18 election - personalities not policies

PUBLIC ISSUES: Reflections on the abortion wars

SCHOOLS: Time to close teacher-training schools?

ECONOMICS: UK report calls for halt to supermarket takeovers

TAIWAN: From plastic keyboards to camera phones

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Sordid message of Leunig's cartoon / The RU-486 debate / Religious beliefs

POLITICAL IDEAS: Alasdair MacIntyre and the bugbear of liberalism

Kevin Rudd for PM? (letter)

Senator Joe McCarthy's 'shameful vendettas' (letter)

Health risks with imported food (letter)

Engineers unfairly stereotyped (letter)

CINEMA: Ignorant critics slam Spielberg's latest, 'Munich'


BOOKS: SADDAM'S SECRETS: How an Iraqi General Defied and Survived Saddam Hussein, by Georges Sada

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Health risks with imported food (letter)

by Robert Ettery

News Weekly, March 4, 2006

How safe is our imported food?

According to the Australian Vegetable and Potato Growers' Federation, AusVeg, we now import over $100 million worth of vegetables into Australia each year, with the majority of this coming from Asia.

Yet, these are the same countries whose products have been tested and found to be contaminated with E. coli, or in other words, have been in direct contact with human or animal faeces.

Who is policing the imports? Who is looking out for the public health of Australians? Who is ensuring that the imported food we are allowing to "flood" our markets unchecked is from countries which use correct and safe farming methods?

Well, obviously, no-one is, otherwise we, as consumers, wouldn't be running the gauntlet of serious illness or even possible death by buying cheap veggies at the supermarket, thinking all is well.

For you see, Australian-grown veggies don't contain E. coli. It is contemptuous arrogance of this Government to put the health of ordinary Australians at risk for the sake of free trading on the "level playing field".

Mr Mark Vaile, you can't un-scramble eggs once the omelette is cooked; but at least you can ensure that the food flooding into Australia is actually safe enough to consume without fear of serious illness or death.

Robert Ettery,
Mirboo North, Vic.

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