Archive for September, 2019

Strawberry contamination across the nation

By admin | 成都桑拿

The contamination of strawberries around has devastated the industry.STRAWBERRIES CONTAMINATED BY NEEDLES HAVE NOW BEEN DISCOVERED IN ALL SIX STATESBerry Obsession, Berry Licious and Donnybrook Berries have recalled their strawberries nationwide.
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Now health authorities across the country are urging people to cut up strawberries before eating them.

QLD* Original source of the scare with strawberries from a Sunshine Coast grower being pulled from shelves last week after two separate reports of needles being discovered inside berries.

* Multiple reports are under investigation by Queensland health of people discovering needles in strawberries in the past two weeks.

* Queensland government has offered $1 million to help farmers struggling due to the scare.

* A $100,000 reward has been offered leading to the discovery of the culprit or culprits.

* A woman received a warning by police after being caught sticking a needle into a banana at a shop in Mackay.

NSW* NSW Police have received reports of contaminated strawberries purchased at supermarkets at Tweed Heads, Taree, and Wingham.

* NSW Police on Tuesday confirmed needles had been found in an apple and a banana purchased from separate Sydney stores.

WA* Contaminated strawberries have been reported four times in Western , including three reports from Perth.

TAS* A woman reported on social media she’d found a needle in a punnet of strawberries she bought from a Hobart supermarket on the weekend.

SA* Two contaminated punnets of Western n-grown Mal’s Black Label strawberries have been found in towns outside Adelaide.

VIC* Two contaminated punnets reportedly located in regional Victoria as part of original investigation. No further reports since.


Qld strawberry body labels media reports “overblown”

By admin | 成都桑拿

A DESPERATE Qld strawberry industry is calling for “calm and common sense” amid the finding of needles in strawberries across the country.
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In a special address this afternoon, Qld horticulture body, Growcom, labelled some of the media reporting as “overblown” and feeding a nationwide scare.

Queensland Strawberry industry officer, Jennifer Rowling, said while the industry was absolutely committed to consumer safety, mishandling of the issue by some authoritative spokespeople, coupled with high profile and sometimes hysterical media, had damaged the industry and cost growers millions of dollars.

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Needles in strawberries in all six statesStrawberry growers needled by ‘terrorism’Strawberry saboteur manhunt now nationwide“Fundamentally we are looking at a very small number of cases of actual tampering related to just three brands; all other reported cases have either been copycats or unsubstantiated claims,” Ms Rowling said.

“This issue has attracted attention as far away as Russia and the UK, and as a result a number of our trade partners have either already blocked n strawberry imports or are talking about doing so.

“It should be acknowledged that much of the damaging commentary did not come from Qld and we call on other state agencies to commit to supporting the industry and closely examine their own crisis communication processes.

“To put this issue in context, the industry produces around 800,000 punnets per day and, apart from the original incident ten days ago where a consumer sought medical assistance, needles have been confirmed in only a small numberof punnets, resulting in instructions by Queensland Health to withdraw three brands from sale.

Rachel Mackenzie, Growcom

“The advice to cut open all strawberries prior to consumption still remains.”

It comes after media reports today of a NSW woman finding a needle within a Pink Lady apple from a Woolworths store.

The Qld strawberry industry welcomes the commitment from the Qld government for a million dollars to address this issue and to improve traceability through the whole fresh food supply chain.

Individual growers have already implemented a number of safety measures to minimise the risk of tampering and are working with the rest of the supply chain including major supermarkets and independent retailers to investigate the most effective approach to providing ongoing certainty about the safety of strawberries.

Growcom chief advocate, Rachel Mackenzie, said that reported incidents with other fruit meant the issue had gone beyond strawberries and demonstrated how important working together and clear communication was to protect agricultural industries both here and internationally.

“The poor coordination of the handling of this matter between the state authorities and overly emotional messages has effectively wiped out a significant sector of farming during peak season for what was effectively a very minor public health risk,” Ms Mackenzie said.

“We cannot let this happen again and we will be working with all levels of government across jurisdictions to ensure that systems and processes are put in place to not only best manage risk to the public, but reduce unnecessary threats to the livelihood of farmers and their families.”

Good Fruit & Vegetables

Coca-Cola watching cannabis in drinks

By admin | 成都桑拿

Coca-Cola is watching the use of a cannabis element in wellness drinksThe Coca-Cola Company is “closely watching” the wider use of a cannabis element in drinks, another sign cannabis-related products are getting more acceptance in mainstream culture and a harder look from US business.
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The statement came after reports the beverage giant was in talks with a Canadian cannabis company to create a health drink infused with cannabidiol, a naturally occurring non-psychoactive compound derived from the cannabis plant.

Shares of the company, Aurora Cannabis, closed up nearly 17 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange after the report.

The companies declined to comment on the report but acknowledged their interest in that segment of the cannabis market.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not produce the high commonly associated with marijuana. It is believed by many to have anti-inflammation and pain-relieving properties, and numerous CBD-infused products have emerged recently.

Aurora spokeswoman Heather MacGregor said her company “has expressed specific interest in the infused-beverage space and we intend to enter that market”.

A Coke spokesman said the beverage giant has made no such decision.

“Along with many others in the beverage industry, we are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world. The space is evolving quickly,” Kent Landers said.

Coke’s interest is another indication of the growing acceptance of cannabis by established companies and of the importance of Canada to the development of those businesses.

Marijuana becomes legal across Canada on October 17. Cannabis companies from the US – where marijuana remains illegal at the federal level – have flocked to Canada to raise funds and establish businesses.

American companies interested in making a play in the cannabis space can try things out in Canada without risking doing something illegal at home.

Constellation Brands, a giant spirits company that counts Corona beer among its labels, bought a multibillion-dollar minority stake in Canopy Growth, a Canadian medical marijuana producer.

Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, and both contain CBD, which can be extracted as an oil that can be added to everything from dog food to hand lotion to drinks.


Experts believe Upper Hunter earthquakes were not caused by mining activity

By admin | 成都桑拿

Fault line: The fault, known as the Hunter-Mooki Thrust, forms the boundary between the Sydney Basin Rocks and the New England Fold Belt to the north.Movement in afault line that runs through the Hunter Valley is the most likely explanationfor a series of earthquakes that have rocked the Upper Hunter over the past week.
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The fault, known as the Hunter-Mooki Thrust, forms the boundary between theSydney Basin Rocks and the New England Fold Belt to the north.

A Geoscience spokeswoman said the fault may have been reactivated due to a build-up of pressure.

“While this feature has not been the subject of detailed earthquake study, it is favourably oriented for reactivation in the current stress field,” she said.

“A possible continuation of the thrust offshore Newcastle shows significant earthquake-related uplift across it.”

Geoscience recorded seven earthquakes near Muswellbrook rangingfrom 2.1 to 3.5 on the Richter Scale between last Thursday and Monday.

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Another earthquake shakes the Upper HunterThe spokeswoman said seismic activity in the Hunter was not surprising, with90 earthquakes recorded in the region over the past decade.

They include 19 earthquakes that have occurred within 50 kilometres of Muswellbrook since last January.

The director of n Centre for Astrobiology at the University of NSW, Martin Van Kranendonk, said it was unlikely the recent earthquakes were the result ofmining activity.

“Earthquakes are much more likely to be the result of movement in the crystalline structures of the earth,” ProfessorVan Kranendonk said.

“If it was a mining-related earthquake it would almost certainlybe a one-off event. You might get a little bit of uplift but that would be it,” he said.

ProfessorVan Kranendonk said it was common for richore seams to be found along geologicalfault lines.

The Geoscience spokeswoman said mine sites were not monitored for seismic activity.

“The National Earthquake Alerts Centre monitors earthquakes across using a national network of seismometers,” the spokeswoman said.

“Monitoring of individual mine sites for low levels of seismicity is not an activity that Geoscience is engaged in.”

Warkworth resident John Krey said it was difficult to distinguish between an earth tremor and a mining blast.

“If it’s a blast then you are kind of relieved that it’s done for the day,” he said.

NSW Minerals Council chief executiveStephen Galilee said thenumber of coal mines operating in the Hunter had fallen by a quarter since 2012.

Warkworth resident John Krey

“All mine blasting in the Hunter is conducted under strict regulation and with public safety as the first priority,” he said.

Ponting backs Finch to open, Marsh for VC

By admin | 成都桑拿

Ricky Ponting wants WA skipper Mitchell Marsh to be Tim Paine’s deputy against Pakistan.Ricky Ponting has named his top six for ‘s Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, backing white-ball specialist Aaron Finch to open the batting alongside Matt Renshaw and Mitch Marsh to assume the vacant vice-captaincy.
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Tim Paine will lead a heavily-depleted 15-man squad into next month’s two-Test series with suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft unavailable along with frontline quicks Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Coach Justin Langer recently admitted he doesn’t know who his best six batsmen are in the absence of Smith and Warner, and the inclusion of Queensland bolter Marnus Labuschagne has emphasised the rawness of the squad.

Former skipper Ponting expects Renshaw and Test debutant Finch to open for the first Test in Dubai with Usman Khawaja at first drop, Shaun Marsh at No.4 and Travis Head and Mitch Marsh filling middle-order positions.

“I don’t think they would have picked (Finch) otherwise with no other specialist opener,” Ponting said at a BBL sponsorship launch in Melbourne on Tuesday.

“Maybe they could try Shaun Marsh up there and bat Finch in the middle but I just think Finch, although his red-ball numbers aren’t outstanding, he’s been in really good form in other formats of the game around the world for the last few years.

“The conditions in the UAE in the next few weeks, I don’t think the new ball will do too much. It’ll probably be more like starting an innings against a white ball which Finchy is very, very good at.”

Paine’s vice-captain will be named ahead of the first Test with Ponting backing WA skipper Marsh for the role.

Paine is no certainty to retain the ODI captaincy following a 5-0 series defeat in England and Ponting believes Marsh should also spearhead ‘s World Cup defence next year.

“I just think the way Mitchell’s developed over the last couple of years, we saw his Test summer in last year was outstanding,” Ponting said.

“They might go for someone a bit more experienced just to help Paine out for the next few months but Mitchell Marsh would be my vote.”

Ponting expects both Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland to be deployed in the spin-friendly conditions of the UAE and has backed 33-year-old workhorse Peter Siddle to hold down an end opposite pace spearhead Mitchell Starc.

Langer’s men will play Tests in Dubai, starting October 7, and Abu Dhabi before taking on the world’s No.1-ranked Twenty20 side in three T20 fixtures.