Today I am having a rant. The powers that be, namely the Federal government, are selling this country down the gurgler. If you are an Australian reading this hopefully you will ring your local member of parliament and let them know how you feel about these decisions this government has taken or are considering. The election is only a few months away......September 14th.
Firstly, a few years ago the government approved the selling of New Zealand apples in this country. New Zealand has a problem with fire blight.....a disease that affects apples and pears. We have plenty of areas within Australia that grow apples with NO risk of fire blight.
Secondly we import Brazilian orange juice concentrate that is used in the production of bottled orange juice. It has been discovered that this concentrate contains the fungicide, carbendazim. Ironically this fungicide has been banned for use in Australia. We grow plenty of oranges in this country and I know that several years ago many tonnes of oranges used to be dumped.
Years ago many growers in the Riverland pulled their orange trees out when they found there was no market for them as this country would rather import orange juice concentrate, and planted vines instead. Now these same growers are going to the wall because they can't sell their grapes to the wineries.
I personally don't buy bottled orange juice. If I want to drink OJ I would rather juice my own from fresh oranges. As many experts have said, you are far better to eat an orange than drink the juice, you get many more benefits.
Thirdly and the most frightening of all, the Food Standards of Australia and NZ are considering importing beef meat from countries that have or have had mad cow disease. All this in the name of free trade! Are they serious? We have a great country here that is classed as clean and green, and our beef is highly sought after overseas.
We produce some of the best meat in the world, why would we need to import it? Why is it that they are killing cattle in the Northern Territory rather than sending them to the abattoirs?
Back in the 1980's/1990's when England discovered mad cow disease in their cattle, any Australian that had visited or lived in England during that time are still not allowed to become Blood Donors. Now what will happen if this disease is found in this imported meat.........no-one will be allowed to donate Blood? If this is the case where will the blood come from and what will happen to those people who require blood transfusions such as people suffering from cancer, road traffic victims, and the like?
In this state, South Australia, one enterprising dairy farmer decided to sell shares in his cows. If you bought a share, that entitled you to get the milk pasteurised free. Apparently for the people who took up this offer, have found that drinking the milk 'straight from the cow' has had many health benefits for them and their children.
Now the government are considering legal action against this farmer. They believe that there are health risks by drinking the milk unpasteurised. When I was a child growing up that was how we drank milk.....unpasteurised. I always thought milk was pasteurised to give it a longer shelf life.
We used to have to drink milk at school, it was delivered around morning recess time and sat out in the hot sun. Today I am not a milk drinker, maybe that's what turned me off.....school milk.
I can remember back then some enterprising person invented the 'flavoured' straw. You could have either chocolate or strawberry straws to drink the milk with. The only problem was, after a few mouthfuls the flavour from the straw was gone and it was just plain milk you ended up drinking.
Now, I only have milk in my coffee, if I have cereal I have to warm the milk up and put in a couple of dessertspoons of sugar, and if I have a milkshake I have to have lots of flavouring.
I can remember a time when fruit and vegetables were seasonal. Now you can buy them all year round. I know that with greenhouses many vegetables can be grown all year. If fruit is out of season here we just import it, like oranges and cherries. If fresh produce doesn't say "Product of Australia" then I don't buy it.
This state, unlike our eastern state counterparts, is fruit fly free. Whenever we travel interstate and come back into SA via Mildura we have a road block at Yamba that we must go through and declare any fruit or vegetables we may have. If you have any it is confiscated. Even if you have a sandwich and it contains lettuce or tomato or any other vegetable it is confiscated. Just across the border is Renmark and the area known as the Riverland. It is a large fruit growing area.
I remember when we came back from Sydney we stopped in Mildura for lunch. Katie wanted a lamington but hadn't eaten it by the time we got to Yamba and the inspection point. She declared it to the inspector. He jokingly told her that he would enjoy it with his afternoon cuppa, but then said that she could keep it.
For those who don't know what a lamington is, it is a small piece of of cake covered in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut.
So we have these rules and regulations for the average joe but when it comes to the government it's fine to import fruit with a potential disease that could decimate our apple and pear industry, concentrates containing banned fungicides/herbicides, and meat with a potential to contain some deadly virus.
As an Australian it is up to each and every one of us to let our politicians know that we are not happy with these decisions. That is why local manufacturers like Spring Gully and now I hear that the company that packs for Edgell, their factories in Tasmania and NSW are facing closure. C'mon get off your backsides and do something before this country is fully reliant on imports.
I am off to ring my local member of Parliament......Tony Zappia, member for Makin......answer your bloody phone!!!!