The latest (Spring 2019) edition of the Association’s newsletter is being sent out to members this week. A copy of the newsletter is also available now for download by clicking on the link in the Newsletter tab above.

The newsletter contains articles on:

  • the Association’s submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care on the health care rights of residents of aged care facilities 

  • how to stop paying extra for bills you receive in the mail 

  • regulating pet food in Australia

  • “junk insurance” pushed by banks in conjunction with loans

  • establishing the real amount of beer or wine sold and the use of non-badged beer glasses in South Australia

  • the confusion facing unit owners seeking redress for faulty buildings

  • notes on a recent presentation to Consumers SA by Nicole Barile, Compliance and Investigations Officer, Product Safety, CBS

  • the future of SA’s GM moratorium 

  • the latest news from Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

   

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

The current (2009) Unit Pricing Regulations are a key element establishing unit pricing in Australia and unless the Commonwealth Government acts quickly consumers will loose a valuable piece of consumer legislation.

Consumers SA (CSA) has written to the Hon Michael Sukkar MP Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer and Vickie Chapman SA Attorney General expressing concern that the Trade Practices (Industry Codes – Unit Pricing) Regulations 2009, will, by virtue of the sunsetting of legislative Instruments legislation, lapse on 1 October 2019.

Unit Pricing facilitates informed consumer choice and enhances price transparency by providing consumers with the unit price (price per unit of measure) of products sold in fixed measure packages.

Unit pricing is one of many pieces of information that assist consumers in forming an opinion as to which purchase to make. The multitude of pack sizes for grocery items makes it difficult for consumers (particularly vulnerable consumers) to know the quantity in relation to the price.

In February 2019 CSA made a written submission to the review of Trade Practices (Industry Codes – Unit Pricing) Regulations 2009 being undertaken by Treasury. CSA’s submission recommended improvements that needed to be made to ensure compliance with the Code and make it easier to use including:

  • increasing pro-active enforcement including using the new international standard ISO 21041:2018, Guidance on unit pricing to define prominence and legibility

  • increasing consumer education by ACCC and retailers on how to use unit pricing effectively

  • placing emphasis on font type and size, colour and contrast, white space, angled shelving for low and high shelves on shelf displays and on-line so that the unit price could be more easily read by consumers particularly the elderly and those with disabilities

  • expanding the code to include pharmacies, hardware stores and grocery area of service stations

  • providing the ACCC with the power to issue infringement notices for non-compliance.

CSA urges the government, as a minimum, to renew the code while considering the review and to inform CSA of its plans in relation to the Trade Practices (Industry Code-Unit Pricing) Regulations 2009.

CSA also urges members and others who are concerned that the legislative requirement to show unit prices to also write to the Hon Michael Sukkar MP <minister.sukkar@treasury.gov.au> .

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

JFA Purple Orange is an independent, social-profit organisation that undertakes systemic policy analysis and advocacy across a range of issues affecting people living with disability and their families. It recently led a State-wide project to research and document the particular conditions for people living with disability which necessitate the high use of water in South Australia.

Download a copy of the report here.

In the report, people provided provided insight into the disability they (or their family member live with), what they use the most water on, how their high use of water impacts on their lives, how they go about managing their water needs and identified what would be most helpful to them in assisting with high water needs.

JFA Purple Orange also notes the final report of the SA inquiry into water prices released in July 2019 and the urgent need to cut inflated household water bills for people living with high water needs.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

The Gluten Free Food Co — Gluten Free Vegan Mac N Cheez Original Cheez 200g & Gluten Free Vegan Mac N Cheez Cheez N Chive 200g

8 Sep 2019

Product description

Gluten Free Vegan Mac N Cheez - Original Cheez Flavour 200g

Gluten Free Vegan Mac N Cheez - Cheez N Chive Flavour 200g
(Note that Cheez n Chive flavour was not distributed in NT)

Dry mix of pasta and sauce powder

Best Before - 17/10/20, 19/12/20, 18/12/20

Identifying features

Other

Batch Code 1909401, 1916902, 1917002

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (milk).

What are the hazards?

Consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact The Gluten Free Food Co by phone on 0476 323 367 or at https://glutenfreefoodco.com

Supplier

The Gluten Free Food Co

Traders who sold this product

Healthfood stores
IGA
Independent grocery stores

Dates available for sale

  • 5 July 2019- 5 September 2019

Metcash — Community Co Pink Himalayan Salt Grinder 115g, Black Peppercorns Grinder 50g & Sea Salt Grinder 115g

8 Sep 2019

Product description

Community Co Pink Himalayan Salt Grinder 115g
Community Co Black Peppercorns Grinder 50g
Community Co Sea Salt Grinder 115g

All Batch Codes and Best Before dates

Identifying features

Other

APN/EAN - 9310246047617, 9310246047594 & 9310246047600

What are the defects?

A packaging fault has resulted in the potential presence of plastic fragments.

What are the hazards?

Food products containing plastic may cause injury if consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should not eat these products and should return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact Metcash on 1300 505 637.

Supplier

Metcash

Traders who sold this product

IGAs
Campbells
Other independent grocers

Shen Neng Herbal Medicines Group Pty Ltd — Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan (Oral Pills)

8 Sep 2019

Product description

Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan (Oral Pills)

A complementary medicine used in traditional Chinese medicine, marketed to help or treat various complaints including mild bronchitis

All Batches

ARTG 217716

AUST L 217716

What are the defects?

The product contains levels of aconitum alkaloids that are higher than the limit permitted for a listed medicine. These substances can pose an unacceptable risk to human health.

The product label does not restrict the medicine's use to adults.

What are the hazards?

Potential risk of aconitum alkaloid poisoning, which may damage the heart, nervous system and gastrointestinal system.

Children are particularly at risk, as toxicity can occur at normal doses. An accidental overdose could be fatal in a small child.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should immediately stop using this product and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Potential signs or symptoms of aconitum alkaloids poisoning include:

- low blood pressure, palpitations, chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm
- tingling or numbness in the face or limbs, muscle weakness
- nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea.

If you have taken Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan pills and experience any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention or call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26. If you have any questions or concerns about this issue, talk to your health professional.

See https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/jin-gui-shen-qi-wan-oral-pillsfor a Chinese translation of the recall information.

For further information, consumers can contact Shen Neng Herbal Medicines Group on 02 9416 9831.

Supplier

Shen Neng Herbal Medicines Group Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Chinese Medicine Clinics

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Click here to read the latest news from SACOSS. Highlights are below.

Join the Global Climate Strike

The climate crisis is threatening people’s homes, livelihoods, health and the cost of living. People on low incomes are suffering the worst impacts of climate change – sweltering through heat waves without escape; trying to sleep in the freezing cold; and struggling to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of natural disasters.

On Friday 20 September, hundreds and thousands of people will take to the streets across the globe in the lead up to the UN’s emergency climate summit, to demand greater action. The climate strikes in Australia will be led by our young people – it is their future that is on the line. But they will not be alone -  unions, businesses and community sector organisations are signing up to support them. Read more or hear about it from the Small Change studio.

Anti-Poverty Week, 13-19 October

This year Anti-Poverty Week is joining Raise the Rate campaign. Around a million Australians are reliant on these payments which have not been increased in real terms for more than 25 years. 

On the 20th of September hundreds and thousands of people will take to the streets across the globe in the lead up to the UN’s emergency climate summit, to demand greater action. The climate strikes in Australia will be led by our young people – it is their future that is on the line. But they will not be alone, unions business and community sector organisations are signing up to support them.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Noshu Foods — Noshu Sugar Free Fudgy Brownies Mix 300g

29 Aug 2019

Product description

Noshu 99% Sugar Free Fudgy Brownies Mix 300g
The product has been available for sale at Woolworths stores nationally

Best Before 15JUL20A (Note - only the Best Before ending in A)

Identifying features

Best before date: 15 July 2020

Other: APN/EAN 9351777001150

What are the defects?

The recall is due to possible presence of an undeclared allergen (gluten).
Only in the product stamped with 'Best Before 15JUL20A’.

What are the hazards?

The presence of gluten may cause illness if consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should not eat this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact 02 8330 6706 or www.noshu.com.au

Supplier

Noshu Foods

Traders who sold this product

Woolworths

Where the product was sold

Nationally

Dates available for sale

  • 31 July 2019- 23 August 2019

Botany International Foods — Naturli' Spreadable Organic Vegan Spread 225g & Funky Fields Organic Spreadable 225g

28 Aug 2019

Product description

Dairy free plant based spread

Naturli' Spreadable Organic Vegan Spread 225g
Batch codes 9080, 9084, 9094, 9135 and all Best Before dates

Funky Fields Organic Spreadable 225g
Batch codes 9010, 9038 and all Best Before dates

Identifying features

APN 5701977550226, EAN 05701977600242 (Naturali') and APN 5701043550198, EAN 5701043602101 (Funky Fields)

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the potential presence of an undeclared allergen (milk - specifically, whey protein).

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have a milk allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have purchased the product and who are allergic to milk should dispose of the product or should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact Botany International Foods by phone on 02 8824 4442 or at www.botanygroup.com.au

Supplier

Botany International Foods

Traders who sold this product

Coles
IGA
Woolworths

Where the product was sold

Nationally

Dates available for sale

  • 1 February 2019- 24 August 2019

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Consumers SA’s sister organisation, the Queensland Consumers Association, is calling on the federal government to release its plans for the soon-to-expire regulation that requires large supermarkets to provide the unit price for prepackaged grocery products.

 On 1 October 2019, unless the present regulation is continued, or new legislation is in place, grocery retailers will no longer be required to provide unit pricing 

 The unit price is the price per unit of measure (such as per 100g for breakfast cereals or per litre for milk). 

 It can greatly assist shoppers to make informed choices, get the best value for money, help with cost/standard of living pressures, and save time.

 Queensland Association spokesperson, Ian Jarratt - who led the campaign for compulsory grocery unit pricing - says “Unit pricing is a simple, but extremely powerful tool that, if provided well, can be the consumer’s best friend in the supermarket”.

 Ian says “It essential to have after 1 October a regulation that requires grocery retailers to provide unit pricing, otherwise fewer retailers will provide it and the quality of provision will be even worse than it is now.”

 The regulation needs also to:

  • require the provision of unit pricing by moregrocery retailers and other relevant retailers, such as chemists and hardware stores

  • result in allunit prices being easy for consumers to notice, read, understand, and use.

 A recent Choice survey showed that 64% of consumers using grocery unit pricing had issues with how it is displayed and provided.

 A major problem is the use of small and non-bold print which results in far too many unit prices being very difficult to notice and read, even for shoppers with good eyesight.  

 This also discriminates against the many consumers with impaired vision and those with disabilities that prevent or limit them from bending and stretching to be able to read small print unit prices on lower and upper shelves. 

 Other common problems that must be addressed include non and intermittent provision, the use of incorrect or inconsistent units of measure, and inaccurate unit prices.

Grocery retailers ensure that selling prices are provided, are very prominent and legible, and are accurate and say they are customer focused and want to provide customers with value and convenience. 

Therefore, they should be required to do the same with unit prices by making them very easy for consumers to notice, read, understand and use.

Recent research by the Association shows that unit prices often vary greatly between brands and pack sizes and that there is great potential for consumers to use unit pricing to get better value.

For a basket of packaged products, choosing a low unit price brand of similar pack size resulted in overall savings of around 50% whilst choosing the larger pack size of a brand delivered overall savings of over 20%.

The savings that individual consumers can obtain from taking unit prices into account will vary greatly depending on what they buy now buy and where.

However, consumers spend around $100 billion a year on groceries alone and many households spend a substantial proportion of total income on groceries.  So, it would be very beneficial for consumers if:

  • the quality of provision of grocery unit pricing was greatly improved and more grocery retailers were required to provide it, and

  • other types of retailers, such as chemists and hardware stores, also had to provide unit pricing for packaged products.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Latest in an occasional series of articles about food issues of interest to consumers collated by Consumers SA Executive Committee member Elaine Attwood.

The climate crisis is already hitting food production: an urgent system–wide response is needed.

Feeding a future global population of 10 billion people without causing a climate catastrophe this century will require transformational change across the entire value chain. Fresh evidence suggests climate change is already impacting crop yields. Climate change presents various threats to human and planetary health. Not least among these are the risks to food and nutrition security. The issue was flagged by a recent far–reaching report from the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC.)  According to the report, which surveyed a “large body” of independent studies on the health implications of climate change, global warming is already having an adverse impact on human health and risks are only projected to increase.

 Current trends in greenhouse gas emissions point to a global average temperature rise of more than 3°C above pre-–industrial levels by the end of the century, well above the maximum 2°C target enshrined in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The temperature rise will be higher over land than oceans, exposing people to “unprecedented” rates of climate change and contributing to the burden of disease and premature death, EASAC  noted.

A new study led by the University of Minnesota in collaboration with the University of Oxford and the University of Copenhagen presents fresh evidence that this is already happening. Researchers looked at yields of barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat, which account for 83% of the calories produced on arable land. They found that changes in climatic conditions are already impacting harvests.

Impacts varied by both crop type geography. The implications of climate change on global food production are mostly negative in Europe, Southern Africa, and Australia, generally positive in Latin America, and mixed in Asia and northern and central America, the researchers noted. Half of all food–insecure countries are experiencing decreases in crop production – and so are some affluent industrialised countries in Western Europe.

(The article goes on to present some solutions to the problem and makes for compelling reading)

Sources:

Climate change has likely already affected global food production’: PLOS ONE : Published online ahead of print: 31 May, 2019

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217148

Authors: Deepak K. Ray, Paul C. West, Michael Clark, James S. Gerber, Alexander V., Prishchepov. Snigdhansu Chatterjee

 ‘Food and Earth Systems: Priorities for Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation for Agriculture and Food Systems’ Sustainability’

Published on line ahead of print: 5 March

DOI: https://doi.org/103390/su11051372

Authors: Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Bruce M. Campbell, Peter J. Cooper, James W. Hansen, Todd Rosenstock and Eva Wollenberg

Author:  Katy  Askew

Credit:   © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

 Red vs white meat for lower cholesterol? Clinical trial reveals ‘near identical’ results

 A study investigating the impact of different proteins on cholesterol levels has found that limiting total meat consumption – whether red or white – may play a greater role in lowering blood cholesterol than previously thought. Red meat consumption has been linked to cancer, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and a higher risk of non-– alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Indeed, growing research linking non-– communicable diseases with red meat consumption has prompted a number of governments to recommend limiting the amount of red meat consumed per week in their dietary guidelines. In both natural and processed forms, red meat - more so than white meat – is also believed to contribute to high cholesterol. “The general perception has been that in controlling blood cholesterol levels, consuming white poultry meat is preferable to consuming red meat,” Professor of Medicine at the University of San Francisco, Ronald M Krauss, told FoodNavigator. However, data supporting this view is “somewhat incomplete”, Krauss continued. In fact until now, there has been no comprehensive comparison of the effects of red meat, white meat, and plant – based proteins on “bad” low–density lipoprotein(LDL)cholesterol levels. “So our study specifically tested whether consuming equal amounts of red meat and white meat had different effects on blood cholesterol.” Results suggested that limiting total meat consumption – whether red or white – may have a greater impact on lowering blood cholesterol levels than previously believed. The findings support dietary recommendations to adopt dietary patterns with high vegetable content, but that “do not provide evidence for choosing white over red meat for reducing CVD risk on the basis of plasma lipid and lipoprotein effects”.

 Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Published online 4 June 2019

‘Effects of red meat, white meat, and nonmeat protein on atherogenic Lipoprotein measure in the context of low compared with high saturated fat intake: a randomized controlled trial’

 DOI: 10.1093 ajcn/nqz035

Authors: Nathalie Bergeron, Sally Chiu, Paul T Williams, Sarah M King, Ronald M Krauss.

 Source:  https://www.foodnavigatror.com/Article/2019/06/06

Author: Flora Southey

Credit:  © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd

 Gene Technology: GM Golden rice must be vacuum packed to retain beta-carotene.

 The Vitamin A precursor beta-carotene is only present at low levels in GM Golden Rice, when compared to carrots and green leafy vegetables. But it rapidly degrades to even lower levels when the rice is stored after harvest, a new study by Indian scientists have found. After just six months of storage in the presence of air, even at the low refrigerated temperature of 4°C, the beta–carotene degraded by around 68 to 79%. The scientists concluded that the best way to preserve the beta-carotene content of the GM golden rice was to vacuum packet as Paddy (rice with the whole left on) – though no one eats rice in this form. Under these conditions, at 25°C, just over half (54%) of the beta-carotene was retained, versus only around 20% under non-– vacuum packaging (air packaging) at the same temperature. All this means it’s not a practical solution to vitamin A deficiency in the developing world.

 First cancer lawsuit  over weedkiller Roundup filed in Australia:

 A Melbourne gardener has launched legal action against Bayer in the first Australian case to link cancer with popular weedkiller Roundup.  Michael Ogalirolo, 54, was diagnosed in 2011 with non-– Hodgkinson lymphoma, after more than 18 years of exposure to Roundup.

 Credit and Source:

GMWatch Review 403

8 June, 2019

 Note:  For full texts of the articles above please see references.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

There is faulty electrical cabling in thousands of Australian homes and businesses. Time is running out before the cables become a fire or electrocution risk. Act now before it’s too late—get your cable checked

Electrical retailers and wholesalers have recalled Infinity and Olsent-branded orange round electrical cables. Physical contact with the recalled cables could dislodge the insulation and lead to electric shock or fires

RECALL DETAILS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

PRA No. 2014/14237

Date published: 27 Aug 2014

Product description

All 'INFINITY' and 'OLSENT' branded Infinity TPS (flat and flexible) and Orange Round low voltage electrical cables of all sizes, configurations and models that are polymeric insulated and PVC sheathed/insulated.

Identifying features

All sizes and configurations of TPS and Orange Round mains power cables sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd and supplied under 'INFINITY' and 'OLSENT' brands are affected. The cable is labelled 'INFINITY' or 'OLSENT' at 1 metre intervals.

What are the defects?

The cables fail the required ageing tests of AS/NZS 5000.2:2006. The insulation could become prematurely brittle with age.

What are the hazards?

If the insulation becomes brittle and the cables are disturbed, the insulation could break and expose live conductors, resulting in possible electric shock or fires.

What should consumers do?

If you suspect any of these cables were installed in your premises, contact the responsible builder, electrical contractor or appliance installer to confirm whether Infinity cable was used. They will liaise with you, and the cable supplier from whom they sourced the cable, about obtaining remedy under this safety recall. The cable supplier will then arrange for inspection of your wiring and remediation of any installed Infinity cable that they supplied.

If you want your wiring inspected, the cable supplier should be given the first opportunity to arrange this. If you are uncertain who the cable supplier was, you can arrange for a licensed electrical contractor to inspect your wiring. Inspection costs are not recoverable from cable suppliers if Infinity cable was not installed or if the cable supplier cannot be determined.

If you have any unused or removed Infinity cable then return this to the cable supplier for a full refund or replacement.

This safety recall is to remedy all installed Infinity cable supplied by the listed cable suppliers as follows:

1. The removal and replacement of all Infinity cable installed in proximity to heat sources including but not limited to recessed lighting, heaters, ovens, stoves, hot water systems, spas, in-floor heating, airconditioners, gas appliances, flues and chimneys, wood heaters and oil heaters.

2. The removal and replacement of all cable installed in areas that are accessible to building owners, tradespeople or the public, unless the cable is laid in an appropriate cable conduit or other suitable mechanical protection. "Accessible areas" explicitly include all accessible roof spaces and accessible spaces under floors. An "appropriate cable conduit or other suitable mechanical protection" is electrically non-conductive, flame retardant (or self-extinguishing) and with appropriate ingress protection (IP) rating that prevents access to the cable inside.

3. Any Infinity cable left installed in appropriate cable conduit or in inaccessible wall, floor or ceiling spaces or embedded into a masonry wall surface must have an appropriate electrical safety switch (residual current device) installed and tested on that cable, if such a device is not already installed and tested.

4. Any premises with Infinity cable left installed must have an appropriate warning sticker affixed to the relevant electrical metering/switch box alerting building owners and tradespeople to the presence of inaccessible Infinity sourced cable.

The safety recall addresses the safety of the installed cable. Consumers with concerns about the quality of Infinity cable that remains installed may have rights under the consumer guarantees of the Australian Consumer Law. See https://www.accc.gov.au/contact-us/other-helpful-agencies/consumer-prote...for details.

Supplier

INFINITY CABLE CO PTY LTD

Traders who sold this product

'INFINITY' branded cables were supplied by:

(1) Mitre 10 (Sep - Oct 2013)
(2) John Danks & Son to "Home Timber & Hardware" (Jul - Sep 2013)
(3) John Danks & Son to "Thrifty-Link Hardware" (Jul - Sep 2013)
(4) John Danks & Son to "Plants Plus" and independent hardware stores (Jul - Sep 2013)
(5) Pioneer Electrical Supplies
(6) Salmon Bros. Data and Electrical
(7) United Electrical and Data Supplies
(8) Alliance Electrical Wholesalers
(9) Sydney Electrical Wholesalers
(10) HEM Queensland
(11) Ramax Electrical Wholesalers
(12) Network Electrical Supplies
(13) Go Electrical
(14) Advanced Electrical Wholesalers
(15) EZLEC Trade Supplies
(16) Project Lighting
(17) Popes Electrical and Data Supplies

Both 'INFINITY' and 'OLSENT' branded cables were supplied by:

(18) Masters Home Improvement (Mar 2012 - Sep 2013)

Not all 'OLSENT' branded cable was sourced from Infinity Cable Co Pty Ltd. Masters Home Improvement can arrange for a visual inspection of 'OLSENT' cable, which will determine whether the cable is affected by this notice.

Consumers can contact Masters & John Danks & Sons on 1300 236 787 or visit www.masters.com.au/DIYProjectIdeas/SupportHelp/InfinityAndOlsentCablesRe...

The cables were supplied in SA as follows:

Between Mar 2012 - Oct 2013:
Masters Home Improvement; John Danks & Son; & Mitre 10

The cables were also supplied in smaller quantities by a number of other smaller suppliers. For information, refer to the recall announcement here:

https://www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1065290

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Latest updates from Product Safety Australia

Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd — Endone Oxycodone Hydrochloride 5mg Tablet Blister Pack

Date published

31 Jul 2019

Product description

Endone oxycodone hydrochloride 5mg tablet blister pack
Batch Number: CW612
Expiry: Nov 2020

AUST R: 14945

Identifying features

Batch Number CW612

What are the defects?

A report has been received that a strip of 30mg Anamorph tablets may have been present in a box of 5mg Endone, post dispensing.

What are the hazards?

Anamorph tablets are approximately four times the Endone equivalent dose, so there is the potential of serious health risks and overdose, if taken inadvertently.

What should consumers do?

Consumers should visually inspect blister sheets to verify both blister strips contain Endone tablets. If a blister is identified with Anamorph printed on the back, do not use the tablets from that strip. Return strips of incorrect tablets to the chemist or pharmacy from which they were purchased.

Further information is available on the TGA website at: https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/endone-5-mg-tablets

For further information, contact Aspen Pharma by phone on 1300 659 646 or email at medical@aspenpharmacare.com.au

Supplier

Aspen Pharma Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Pharmacies and Chemists

Greens General Foods Pty Ltd — Lowan Rice Flakes 500g and Lowan Rice Porridge with Orchard Fruits 500g

Date published

28 Jul 2019

Product description

Lowan Rice Flakes 500g
Best Before dates - 17/01/2020, 4/02/2020, 5/02/2020, 4/03/2020, 5/03/2020, 11/04/2020, 12/04/2020, 29/04/2020, 13/05/2020, 3/06/2020

Lowan Rice Porridge with Orchard Fruits 500g
Best Before dates - 17/01/2020, 18/01/2020, 5/03/2020, 6/03/2020, 12/04/2020, 6/05/2020, 14/05/2020, 3/06/2020, 4/06/2020

What are the defects?

The recall is due to potential gluten contamination.

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have a gluten allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers with gluten allergies or intolerance should not eat this product.
Consumers should immediately return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, contact Greens General Foods on 1800 355 718 or email consumerrelations@greens.com.au

Supplier

Greens General Foods Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Major and independent grocery retailers nationally and internationally

Balfours Pty Ltd — Balfours Banger Chilli Cheese Kransky 150g

Date published

28 Jul 2019

Product description

Balfours Banger Chilli Cheese Kransky 150g

Batch codes TR9171 and TR9178

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (sesame).

What are the hazards?

Any consumers who have a sesame allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have a sesame allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, please contact Balfours Pty Ltd on 1300 300 032 or via https://balfours.com.au/

Supplier

Balfours Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Coles Express, BP, Caltex and independent stores nationally.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

It is Consumers SA policy that any food produced through genetic modification should be labelled for transparency and to allow consumer choice. The following advice from Dr Judy Carman of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research is therefore reprinted in the public interest and for action as individual readers decide:

"Dear Consumer

A bill has been presented to Parliament that is trying to deregulate some new genetic modification (GM) techniques and the genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) that are produced as a result, by classifying them as non-GMOs.

Do you know what that could mean for your health? The health of your family and friends? No? You are not alone. Yet the Federal Government is still trying to deregulate them. This means that these new GMOs will come into your food or water supply without any safety testing, including for any allergic, toxic, reproductive or cancer-causing effects. There will be no labelling, either, so you will be consuming them whether you want to or not.

One technique is called SDN-1 (site-directed nuclease-1). Numerous scientific papers have been published showing that this process is not as precise as previously thought and can have numerous “off target” effects on the engineered organism, such as affecting other genes in the organism.

There are many organisms that could be quickly released into the Australian food supply if this technique is deregulated. They include crops (e.g. wheat, rice and canola), fruit (e.g. strawberries, grapes and apples), vegetables (e.g. potatoes, tomatoes and cucumber), animals (e.g. fish, sheep, chickens, pigs and cows), and micro-organisms such as yeast (e.g. used for making bread, beer and wine), bacteria (e.g. used to make yoghurt) and viruses.

Furthermore, unskilled biohackers will be able to buy cheap kits over the internet and alter genes in bacteria and viruses in their kitchen and then release those microbes. All without any government oversight.

The European Union’s Court of Justice has ruled that this technique needs to be assessed for safety in the same way as the old techniques. New Zealand will regulate organisms derived from these techniques as GMOs. Over 60 international scientists have signed a statement calling for them to be strictly regulated.

The second major technique being deregulated uses dsRNA (double stranded ribonucleic acid) methods. The aim is to put a small section of dsRNA into a plant or other organism by methods such as spraying, dipping, injecting, using a virus, or by eating something that contains the dsRNA. The aim is to change the expression of genes by e.g. silencing them. dsRNA molecules have many uses. For example, they can be sprayed as an insecticide to silence genes in insects to kill them, and they can be sprayed onto fruit and vegetables on supermarket shelves to lengthen shelf-life. Deregulation means that certain dsRNAs can be used by anyone, without any oversight and without first determining if they have any effect on you, or whether any changes to gene expression can be inherited.

There is no consensus that organisms produced by these methods are safe for your health. The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), the principal non-government organisation for population health in Australia, has called for these techniques to be regulated.

More information can be found in the attached scientific briefing paper, written in everyday English.

If you are concerned, please send an email to the following people expressing your concern and asking “for Gene Technology Amendment (2019 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2019;12 to be blocked, by, for example, withdrawing the legislation, voting against the legislation, or disallowing it”. Please tell them that instead, you want these new GMOs to be regulated and labelled.

  • Hon. Greg Hunt, Minister for Health. Minister.Hunt@health.gov.au

  • Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Shadow Minister for Health. Chris.bowen.mp@aph.gov.au

  • Senator Stirling Griff, Spokesperson for Health for the Centre Alliance Party. Senator.griff@aph.gov.au

  • Senator Richard Di Natale, Spokesperson for Health for the Greens. Senator.dinatale@aph.gov.au

  • Senator Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Agriculture, and Leader of the Nationals in the Senate. Senator.mckenzie@aph.gov.au

  • Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Resources. Joel.fitzgibbon.mp@aph.gov.au

  • Hon. Rebekha Sharkie, Spokesperson for Agriculture, Centre Alliance Party. Rebekha.sharkie@aph.gov.au

  • Senator Janet Rice, Spokesperson for Agriculture, the Greens. Senator.rice@aph.gov.au

Please also feel free to look up your local member of Federal Parliament and any Senators from your State to send them a similar email. A list of Federal Government politicians can be found here:

https://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/03%20Senators%20and%20Members/32%20Members/Lists/MemList.pdf?la=en

Please feel free to send this email and the attached scientific document to other consumers.

Yours sincerely

Dr Judy Carman

Dr Judy Carman BSc (Hons) PhD MPH MPHAA

Epidemiologist and Biochemist

Director

Institute of Health and Environmental Research

PO Box 155

Kensington Park, South Australia, 5068

Phone within Australia: 0408 480 944

Phone outside of Australia: +61 408 480 944

Email: judycarman@ozemail.com.au

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Latest in an occasional series of articles by Elaine Attwood about food issues affecting consumers.

Sweetener under fire: Germany questions safety of heated sucralose

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has raised concerns over the stability of sucralose when heated to high temperatures, and the potential for resulting health risks. Sucralose is a zero – calorie artificial sweetener. The sugar substitute has been approved as food additive E955 in the EU since 2004, and can be found in sweet beverages, condiments, chewing gum and baked goods. According to BfR’s findings, when sucralose was heated to temperatures of approximately 120°C to 250°C – during both the industrial production and processing of foods; and by consumers when cooking or baking foods at home – the artificial sweetener became dechlorinated. This, the BfR said, could possibly lead to the generation of chlorinated organic compounds with potential health risk for consumers.

The findings however are not conclusive. According to the International Sweeteners Association (ISA), has similarly highlighted to members that the fR’s findings were “non-–conclusive”. Whereas the ISA and the Calorie Control Council, among others, stand by the European Food Safety Association (EFSA’s) assessment of sucralose – which authorised the sweetener for use in the EU in 2004 – BfR has recommended consumers hold out for conclusive findings. “Until a conclusive risk assessment is possible, the BfR advises consumers and food producers not to heat foods containing sucralose to temperatures reached during baking, deep frying and roasting or only to add sucralose after the foods have been heated.”

 Source:  https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/04/17

Author:  Flora Southey

Credit:   © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

 (Note: Sucralose is approved for use in Australia)

 Alcohol does the most damage to Australians, but we won’t stop drinking

Australia’s heaviest drinkers account for a staggering amount of the nation’s alcohol consumption, research shows. Some academics say that powerful lobby groups are working hard behind closed doors to make sure that we keep drinking it. It comes as a new study from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare revealed alcohol was the number one drug causing Australians to seek professional help in 2017–18. According to the report, the four most common drugs that led Australians to ask for help were alcohol (34%), amphetamines or “ice” (25%), cannabis (21%) and heroin (5%). Dr David Caldicott, Australian National University lecturer and emergency consultant said, “Alcohol was the most harmful drug by a country mile – it just happens to be legal. Alcohol has more impact on emergency departments … Australian political parties continue to accept big money from the alcohol industry lobby group to ensure that we keep drinking.” Data sourced from the Australian Electoral Commission’s political donation records show alcohol industry lobby groups paid political parties more than $1.8 million in donations in 2017–18. Deakin University violence prevention Professor Peter Miller, said these lobby groups have “long–term, well -developed strategies aimed at engaging and grooming politicians”. “We know that 75% of all alcohol sales in Australia come from 20% of consumers.

 Source:  https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/05/03

Credit:  News National 10.07pm, May 3, 2019

 “Misguided” criticism: Australian industry hits back at calls to make on–pack Health Star Rating System mandatory

The food and beverage industry in Australia is at odds with local health and consumer groups over calls by the latter to make usage of the Health Stars Rating (HSR) System by food firms mandatory. The debate was reignited over the recently–published draft of the “Health Star Rating System Five Year Review Report” by consultancy firm MP Consulting, which was set to recommend that the HSR System continued as a “volunteering front –of–pack label (FoPL)  scheme”. However the draft was published ahead of the deadline for accepting public comment, and various consumer and health groups responded by preparing comments opposing this. Amongst these, consumer organisation Choice said that: ‘Without HSRs being displayed on the majority of products, no amount of consumer education will help overcome the challenges that consumers face when comparing products with inconsistent labelling.”

The HSR Five Year Review was commissioned by the Australian government to “examine the impact of the System, the extent to which the objectives of the System have been met and to identify how the System could be improved’. The report acknowledged that the System was not without its flaws, and recommended a series of improvements. Amongst these was to make adjustments to the HSR Calculator to better reflect current dietary guidelines. The authors anticipated that this move would see decreases to the HSRs of approximately 8% of products (mostly discretionary/junk foods) and increases to the HSRs of approximately 15% of products (e.g. fruits and vegetables).

 Source: https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2019/04/17 

Author:  Pearly Neo

Credit:  © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd

 Obesity campaigners demanded ban of cartoon characters on food and drink packets

 Campaigners in the UK are calling for a government ban on cartoon animations on packets that market unhealthy products to children and compulsory “traffic light nutrition labelling after a survey discovered that half of over 500 food and drink products which use cartoon animations on the packaging to appeal to children were ’unnecessarily” high in fat, saturated fat, sugar and/or salt. The campaigners claimed that manufacturers and retailers were “deliberately manipulating children and parents into purchasing “dangerously” unhealthy products, which can encourage pester power and excessive consumption”.

Sonia Pombo, Campaign Lead at Action on Salt based at Queen Mary University of London, said: “Parents want to make healthy choices for their children, but companies are not making this easy for them. The food industry has a moral duty to stop putting profits first and sell their products responsibly. There is plenty of opportunity for companies to either reformulate and make their products healthier, or make their already healthier products more appealing to children. Until then, the government must intervene and ensure all food and drink manufacturers at least display “traffic light” labelling so parents can see, at a glance, what is in the food.

 But the Food & Drink Federation hit back, claiming that the campaigners’ “headline-seeking measures” would not help address the UK’s obesity crisis.

 Source:  https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/06/04

Author: Oliver Morrison

Credit:  © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd

 Note:  For full text of the above articles please see the references.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Latest updates from Product Safety Australia

Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd — Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask and Activator

17 Jul 2019

Product description

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask
SAP Code: 26202031

Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask Activator
SAP Codes: 26202032 and 26202034

ARTG: 287825
(Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd - Red/blue light phototherapy unit)

What are the defects?

Reports of generally mild, rare and transient visual adverse events, and concerns around the safety of blue light on the eyes.

What are the hazards?

Certain consumers with underlying eye conditions (such as retinitis pigmentosa, ocular albinism or other hereditary ocular disorders) or taking medications that could enhance ocular photosensitivity may be at risk of retinal damage.

What should consumers do?

Consumers are advised to return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund or contact Johnson & Johnson Pacific Consumer Care Centre on 1800 789 348 to organise the return of all affected devices and arrange a refund.

For more information please see: https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/neutrogena-visibly-clear-light-therapy-acne...

Supplier

Johnson & Johnson Pacific Pty Ltd

Traders who sold this product

Online
Chemists
Pharmacies
Priceline stores

Regal Cream Products Pty Ltd t/as Bulla Dairy Foods — Bulla Ready To Decorate Ice Cream Cake Base 1.5L

24 Jul 2019

Product description

Bulla Ready To Decorate Ice Cream Cake Base 1.5L
A multi-flavoured ice cream cake base for consumers to decorate themselves
Batch Code 0000001966

Best Before 24/03/2021

Identifying features

Best before date

24 March 2021

Other

APN/EAN 09310161012073

What are the defects?

The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (soy).

What are the hazards?

Consumers who have a soy allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

What should consumers do?

Consumers who have a soy allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the product to place of purchase for a full refund.

For further information, contact Bulla Dairy Foods on 1800 001 332 or service@bulla.com.au

Supplier

Regal Cream Products Pty Ltd t/as Bulla Dairy Foods

Traders who sold this product

  • Independent Retailers
    Woolworths

Dates available for sale

  • 3 May 2019- 22 July 2019

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Consumer policy news and updates from Consumers Federation of Australia members, regulators, policy makers, researchers and others. Extracted from the Federation’s latest newsletter: SUBSCRIBE HERE

Consumer advocates welcome ASIC intervention in Short Term Credit Market

Consumer advocate groups have welcomed ASIC's announcement that it will consult on using new Product Intervention Powers to intervene in the short term credit industry.

Read More

Regulator slams ‘junk insurance’ sold by banks as Aussies demand over $2 million in refunds

A recent ASIC report confirms that consumer credit insurance, commonly tacked on when taking out a loan or credit card, is junk.

Read More

Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code Inadequately Protects Consumers: Consumer Groups

The revised Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code fails to adequately protect telco consumers, according to consumer groups.

Read More

New Banking Code Compliance Committee open for business

From 1 July 2019, the new Banking Code Compliance Committee will monitor banks’ compliance with the 2019 Banking Code of Practice.

Read More

Public comment invited on standard for demand response between remote agents and electrical products

Demand response aims to ensure stable energy during times of peak demand to avoid disruptive power outages. Standards Australia is inviting Public Comment on demand response standards by 6 August.

Read More

CPRC Research Report: A Day in the Life of Data

Consumer Policy Research’s Centre's latest report – A Day in the Life of Data – illustrates the bewildering volume and scope of data collected about consumers just as they go about their daily lives.

Read More

Check the safety of electrical products – does it have this mark?

Consumers have a right to be electrically safe when they buy electrical products, despite the enormous growth in online stores.

Read More


Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Click here to read the latest news from SACOSS. Highlights are below.

Events and Notices

Register Now: Building Social Infrastructure

Tuesday 24 September

Adelaide Convention Centre

At this year's State Conference, titled 'Building Social Infrastructure: Opportunities for our sector in the next decade', we are thrilled to welcome Professor Emerita Gillian Triggs as our keynote speaker - and we'd love to have you join us!
Read more

SA: The Heaps Unfair State

Monday 9 September, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Room 2.1, Level 2, Flinders in the City, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide South Australia

Based on research conducted by the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University, and the South Australian Council of Social Service, this interactive workshop will highlight the growth in health inequalities in South Australia since the 1980s and encourage lively discussion about how we can reverse these trends. This is of vital importance to the future of SA because evidence indicates that more unequal societies are less successful on a range of measures.
Read more

Community Events

NVI Flinders Social Enterprise Support

Wednesday 31 July, 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Flinders University, Victoria Square, Room 2.3

This Adelaide Social Enterprise event is being Hosted by Bert Verhoeven from NVI Flinders and will showcase the journey and results of three amazing Social Enterprises that have been supported by NVI Flinders. Speakers include: Tanya Pettingill, founder of ‘Jolly Soles’ and Geena Süphke, Robbie Duffin, Noah Connolly & Dylan Egel from ‘Impacted’.
Read more

How casual are you?

Wednesday 31 July, 5.30pm - 8.00pm

Level 1, Flinders University, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, 5000

The Victorian Productivity Commission says 13% of people have done ‘gig work’ in the last 12 months. Australia has the highest rate of casual work in the western world. More of us are working more than one job: we’re working from home, we’re working at night and we’re working on weekends. Who benefits? The Working Women’s Centre and The Mary Lee Exchange are partnering to present How Casual Are You? an exploration of non-standard work in Australia. We’re bringing together a remarkable panel of workers and employment experts to share their research and experiences. Experts in employment law from the Working Women’s Centre will be available after the panel to answer questions. Tickets are free but places are limited, book now to avoid disappointment.
Read more

Seminars and Conferences

Human Health, Wellbeing and an Ageing Population

Tuesday 6 August, 6.00pm

Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, 55 North Terrace, UniSA City West Campus, Adelaide, SA

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Wakefield Futures Group, as part of the Sustainable Futures series. These two presentations explore human health, wellbeing and an ageing population and their place in a sustainable future:
Professor Fran Baum: To what extent do the urban planning, energy and environment sectors govern for health and wellbeing?
Dr Jane O’Sullivan: Ageing and Declining populations – Good for us, Good for the Planet.
Read more

Call For Input

HESTA Community Sector Awards

Nominations are now open and close on 1 September 2019
Do you know someone who is making outstanding contributions in our sector? The HESTA Community Sector Awards recognise outstanding service provision, advocacy and leadership in improving the lives of people who rely on access to the services of nursing and midwifery, early childhood education and care, community services and aged care.
Read more

SA Housing and Homelessness Strategy

Seeking broad public engagement to inform new Housing and Homelessness Strategy
The release of the SA Housing and Homelessness Taskforce report Towards a Housing, Homelessness and Support Strategy, including Strategic Intent, by the Minister for Human Services marks the start of broad engagement to shape a new Housing and Homelessness Strategy for our State. It is important that the new Housing and Homelessness Strategy is shaped with input from as many South Australians as possible, including broad public engagement.
Visit YourSAy website

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

Earlier this week, Sandy Canale - South Australia’s Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWOSA) - released the first edition of the EWOSA quarterly newsletter: describing it as: “your one stop shop for emerging consumer trends, hot issues and policy matters”.

Read the newsletter here.

“Hot Topics” discussed in the first newslatter include:

  • Comparing Offers and Discounts

  • Payment Difficulties

  • Consumer Data Rights

  • Virtual Power Plants

  • Shopping Around for Better Deals.

EWOSA facilitates the prompt resolution of complaints and disputes between consumers of electricity, gas and water services and Members of the Scheme by providing a service to consumers which is free, independent, accessible, fair and informal.

Freecall 1800 665 565

Submit a complaint

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

On 16 July Victoria’s Consumer Action released an Energy Assistance Report, which includes observations about the impact, to date, of the new Victorian Payment Difficulty Framework. The report also discusses other general findings from underlying energy analysis work. It is the first report of this kind from the Victorian group and tracks the energy issues Victorian consumers raised when calling the National Debt Helpline service over 23 months.

Consumer Action is also releasing a spreadsheet with some of the underlying deidentified information that was analysed.

Key findings of the report include:

  • energy disconnections have significantly reduced following the implementation of the Victorian Governments Payment Difficulty Framework from 1 January 2019

  • energy companies are still failing to comply with aspects of the Payment Difficulty Framework

  • while vital early intervention is increasingly encouraged, many people having difficulty paying their energy bills are still contacting help services after overwhelming energy debts have arisen

  • there is a strong relationship between receiving a Centrelink income and raising issues with energy debt

  • women, people speaking a language other than English at home; people experiencing mental health issues or people experiencing family violence are more likely to raise energy issues when they call.

The report and accompanying spreadsheet are digital only and can be downloaded via this link: https://consumeraction.org.au/energy-assistance-report/

Please contact Jake Lilley at jake@consumeraction.org.au or on 03 9670 5088 if you would like to discuss this work.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

The following advice, on the importance of checking your health professional’s registration details, is provided by Pam Moore, a Consumers SA committee member and Centenary Medallist for her long-standing health advocacy work.  Pam writes:

In Australia we generally have excellent medical care and the vast majority of those who provide care, whether medical practitioners (either GPs or specialists), dentists, physiotherapists or similar professionals,are also of a high calibre.  

However, as with all aspects of life, there are some people (and some practitioners) who are of concern.  

The ABC’s 7.30 Report on Tuesday 9 July (https://www.abc.net.au/7.30/whistleblowers-say-medical-watchdog-ahpra-is-not/11293930) entitled “Whistleblowers say medical watchdog AHPRA is not investigating complaints properly”highlighteda case where a consumer received abusive care and reported it to the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA).  The report detailed how AHPRA dealt with the complaint and concluded that the agency was “not doing its job properly and the health of Australians is at risk as a result.”  

This raises questions about health practitioners past conduct having an effect on the care that their patients currently receive.  

Consumers SA encourages consumers to check the registration of all their health professionals on the AHPRA web site using the following link:  https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Registration/Registers-of-Practitioners.aspx  

Simply search the practitioners’ surname (the other fields: such as given name, selection of health profession and state, are not usually required unless there are many practitioners with the same name). Once a practitioner’s registration is found, click on “view all details” to check on any information that may affect the care consumers receive. 

The search will reveal among other things:

·      Qualifications 

·      Conditions on practice

A National Board or an adjudication body can impose a condition on the registration of a practitioner or student, or on an endorsement of registration.  A condition aims to restrict a practitioner’s practice in some way, to protect the public. 

Conditions can be placed on a practitioner’s registration for disciplinary reasons, such as because a National Board has found that a practitioner has departed from accepted professional standards. 

Conditions can also be placed on a practitioner’s registration for reasons that are not disciplinary, such as for a practitioner who is returning to practice after a break.

Current conditions which restrict a practitioner’s practice of the profession are published on the register of practitioners. When a National Board or adjudication body decides they are no longer required to ensure safe practice, they are removed and no longer published. 

Examples of conditions include requiring the practitioner to: 

·      complete specified further education or training within a specified period 

·      undertake a specified period of supervised practice 

·      do, or refrain from doing, something in connection with the practitioner’s practice 

·      manage their practice in a specified way 

·      report to a specified person at specified times about the practitioner’s practice 

·      not employ, engage or recommend a specified person, or class of persons. 

There may also be conditions related to a practitioner’s health (such as psychiatric care or drug screening).  The details of health conditions are not usually published on the register of practitioners. 

·     Undertakings

National Boards can seek and accept an undertaking from a practitioner to limit the practitioner’s practice in some way if this is necessary to protect the public. The undertaking means the practitioner agrees to do, or to not do, something in relation to their practice of the profession. Current undertakings which restrict a practitioner’s practice of the profession are published on the register of practitioners. When a National Board or adjudication body decides they are no longer required to ensure safe practice, they are revoked and are no longer published. Current undertakings which relate to a practitioner’s health are mentioned on the national register but details are not provided. 

An undertaking is voluntary, whereas a condition is imposed on a practitioner’s registration. 

 ·     Reprimands

A reprimand is a chastisement for conduct; a formal rebuke. …

Note: The above 3 definitions are taken directly from the AHPRA web site. 

 If a medical practitioner has conditions and limitations this may affect the care received. Examples include:  medical practitioners not being able to prescribe strong pain killers or other drugs of dependence; not being able to do intimate procedures or always being required to have a chaperone present when seeing patients.  

 Unfortunately practitioners may be reluctant to freely provide this information themselves for fear of losing business.  

 Most practitioners will have no reprimands, undertakings or conditions.  However, if a practitioner does have any of the above, consumers have the right to know and this information can help with future care. 

If consumers feel uncomfortable or uneasy about the care they are receiving (and even if the AHPRA registration does not reveal any conditions or limitations) it is obviously best for them to go with their gut feelings and to change their medical practitioners.  If consumers feel their concerns are of a serious nature they can lodge a complaint with AHPRA.

I am aware of many examples where a consumer’s health care would be improved with knowledge of their practitioner’s conditions or limitations.  

One example was a person who had chronic severe pain for several years and was consistently told by their GP to take paracetamol only.  On checking the GP’s registration details I found that they included a limitation prohibiting that GP from prescribing drugs of dependence.  The consumer was advised of the GP’s limitations and this enabled them to find a new GP who could prescribe appropriate pain relief medication.  The reluctance of this GP to inform patients of this limitation caused unnecessary discomfort and stress to the patient for several years: in fact, the consumer’s pain made paid work impossible.

Pam Moore Consumer Advocate and Consumers SA ExecutiveCommittee Member

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis

While there have been attempts in recent times to provide vegetarians with food that looks like meat, few if any, could claim to taste like meat.  Now, however, the Australia Broadcasting Commission reports that the ‘Impossible Hamburger’ may be close to making this a reality.

 It reports that Air New Zealand has become the first airline in the world to serve passengers the Impossible Burger, a fake meat that is backed by Bill Gates, sold in fancy restaurants and bleeds like a beetroot. The fake meat used in the burger is one of the “new generation” that go beyond squashing a few lentils and soybeans together. But neither are theyexperimental meats grown in a lab (these are said to be still at least a decade away from your local burger chain.) Products like Impossible Burger, Beyond Burger ands Bleeding Burger, which is from the UK,  are something else: delicately engineered, lab–designed combinations of plant–based protein, yeast extract, plant gums, spices and seasonings.

 Correspondents from the ABC, one a committed vegan and the other a red-blooded meat eater, both tried the Impossible Hamburger at a burger joint on Union Street in San Francisco. Both were impressed with the burger although the carnivore of the two felt that they could tell the patty was not “100% meat” but was really close. The cost was US$20.00. The surface of the patty was charred and crusted like meat, apparently the result of small flakes of coconut oil scattered throughout the mix. Unlike other veggie patties, the Impossible Burger has the same stringy texture as meat. The fibres of the patty break apart like mince.

 However not everybody is impressed with the appearance of the Impossible Burger. Air New Zealand announced it will be serving this delicacy to business class passengers on flights from Los Angeles to Auckland. Its decision was criticized by NZ’s beef and lamb industry, which see fake meat as a looming threat.

 In spite of an Impossible Burger requiring only 5% of the land and 1/4 of the water that a beef burger does, and producing only an eighth of the greenhouse gases (according to the company that makes them), the Australian meat industry was not impressed either. (probably for the same reason).  In Australia, Woolworths launched plant–based meat in the meat section of their supermarkets  in June. Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack of the National Party, told the ABC ‘Mince is mince, mince is meat. That’s my interpretation of what mince is.” The product in Woolworth’s meat section is called ‘Minced’.

 However, the Deputy PM may have a point here: all such products must be labelled clearly and honestly as to exactly what they are so that the consumer can make an informed choice. The question arises as to whether the same words used for real meat, should be used with fake meat?

 As the article records, whether farmers like it or not, Australian are eating less meat. In 2016, 11% of Australians - about 2.1 million people had vegetarian or mostly vegetarian diets.  The figure had gone up 2% in four years.   So….. coming to a supermarket near you!

 Material for this article was taken from the following source:-

https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/we-tried-what-many-say-is-the-best-fake-meat-burger-in-the-world/9940746

 ABC Rural: Daniel Fitzgerald

Wednesday 4th July, 2018 5:36pm

BUT ON THE DOWN SIDE:

Rat feeding study suggests the Impossible Burger may not be safe to eat.

Rats fed genetically modified yeast-derived protein soy leghemoglobin - the key ingredient of the ‘fake meat’ Impossible Hamburger - developed signs of toxicity. Claire Robinson and Michael Antoniou, PhD explain the findings of a feeding study commissioned by the burger’s manufacturer, Impossible Foods.

 Reference: GMWatch Review 404, 5 July 2019

AND TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING WITH REGARD TO FOOD:

‘Enemies of the nation’: Bangladesh considers death penalty, life imprisonment  

as a punishment for food adulterators in the country.

 In a press conference, Bangladesh Minister of Food, Shadhon Chandra, said that the government has adopted a “zero tolerance policy” towards food adulteration, deeming these perpetrators to the “enemies of the nation”. “The level of punishment will be increased to stop food adulteration.  If needed, we will make provisions for capital punishment or life imprisonment by amending present food safety legislation, Majumder told The Independent newspaper.

 The Ministry’s suggestion on increasing punishments for adulterators received support from former Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mohammed Nasim, who called for the capital punishment during an Iftar (fast breaking) event. According to the Dhaka Tribune, Nasim said, ‘Those who push the countrymen to death by adulterating food, are enemies of the country as well as the nation. Capital punishment should be executed against them.”

 At present, some 15 food safety laws have been established in Bangladesh to guide and enforce food safety in the country – but the wide variety and high frequency of food adulteration has painted a picture of limited success. Known adulterants include arsenic, formalin, dyes, fertilizer, metals, poor quality raw ingredients and more - applied across a near unlimited range of food items including fish products, fruits, dairy, beverages and biscuits. Milk and milk products adulteration in particular has been exceptionally rampant in the country.

Credit:  https://www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2019/06/11

Author: Pearly Neo

Source: © 2019 - William Reed Business Media Ltd.

Note:  The full text of both articles can be found in the references.

Posted
AuthorRay Dennis