Health risks with imported food (letter)by Robert EtteryNews 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.