Author Archive: roman

Stop the gasfields action: Sunday the 30th July 2017

from 12 o’clock to 1pm (arrive from 11.30am)
Venue: Parliament House

Support the people in the South East of South Australia and particularly,
Penola. Beach Energy has announced state-owned forestry land, 8 kms south
of Penola, as the site of the controversial Haselgrove 3 gas well.

This well on public land must be stopped. The drilling site is near the
boundary of the Coonawarra wine district and the new $80 million Union
Dairy Company processing plant.

We are calling on the SA government to stop the gas field exploration in the
SE of South Australia and to save our state for jobs in farming, tourism and
the wine industry. No food, no future. We say no to gas fields.

To see the effects of unconventional gas mining on land and people watch
Fractured Country an unconventional invasion. It is very worth watching and
only takes 40 mins (be informed while sipping a cup of coffee or tea with
friends)

Aboriginal inhabitants in Kakadu at least 70,000 years ago

A groundbreaking archaeological discovery in Australia’s north has extended the known length of time Aboriginal people have inhabited the continent to at least 65,000 years.
The findings on about 11,000 artefacts from Kakadu national park, published on Thursday in the journal Nature, prove Indigenous people have been in Australia for far longer than the much-contested estimates of between 47,000 and 60,000 years, the researchers said.

Some of the artefacts were potentially as old as 80,000 years.
The new research upends decades-old estimates about the human colonisation of the continent, their interaction with megafauna, and the dispersal of modern humans from Africa and across south Asia.

more details in the Guardian

Illegal and potentially toxic nanoparticles found in baby formula

JUL 02, 2017 Media Release

FOE_baby_formula_600x400.jpg

Independent testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth has found nanoparticles in popular Australian infant formula products that are both illegal in Australia and potentially dangerous. Three of the seven samples tested contained nano-hydroxyapatite particles. Nano-hydroxyapatite has been found to cause cell death in the liver and kidneys of rats and is prohibited from use in infant formula in Australia in any form.

Friends of the Earth are calling for an immediate recall of all affected brands – and for our food regulator – Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) – to immediately commission testing of all infant formula to ascertain what other brands contain hydroxyapatite or other unapproved and potentially harmful nanoparticles.

Two of these samples, Nestlé NAN H.A. Gold 1 and Nature’s Way Kids Smart 1, were found to contain a needle like form of hydroxyapatite. The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has concluded that this form of nano-hydroxyapatite should not be permitted in oral products such as toothpaste and mouthwash because of its potential toxicity.

If it’s dangerous in toothpaste, it should certainly not be in infant formula.

Babies are particularly vulnerable to food safety risks since their immune systems are still developing. Often infant formula is the only food an infant receives. FSANZ needs to immediately recall these products.

TAKE ACTION: DEMAND AN URGENT RECALL!

Altogether 5 of the 7 samples were found to contain nanoparticles that are not approved for use in infant formula, and breach the Food Regulation Ministerial Council’s policy for ensuring the safety of infant formula. Furthermore, the test results confirm that the nano-hydroxyapatite was added to the formula intentionally.

Baby_formula_brands.png

Friends of the Earth is not only concerned about the presence of nano-hydroxyapatite and nano-calcite in baby formula, but also about the performance of our food regulator FSANZ.

Attack on Environment groups

Cam Walker, FoE Australia writes:

The environment movement is under attack (again) and we need your help to see off the Federal government’s latest attempt to limit our work.

The long-running campaign kicked off by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and enthusiastically endorsed by conservative MPs, the right-wing media, and coal industry, is seeking to strip environmental groups of their tax deductible donation status that was. (Read history of the attacks here)

Tax deductible donations make up more than 90 percent of FoE Australia’s income.

If the government finally succeeds in removing our DGR status, it will be the end of Friends of the Earth in its current form. This will be equally true for any environmental group which has staff and engages in advocacy and protest.

The Australian Treasury has announced a review of Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status organisations, with environmental groups selected for extra special attention.

Wrapped up in a fairly benign looking ‘review’ of the management of charities are some long running items from the conservative’s agenda, in particular:

  • To limit the advocacy of environmental groups by forcing them to spend up 50 percent of their income on tree planting etc, and,
  • To ‘sanction’ or remove the tax status of groups that ‘promote’ illegal activity – and by this they mean protesting. There is even a bizarre recommendation that groups be punished even if ‘people not connected formally with organisation’ are engaged with illegal action like being arrested at a protest.

The right wing has tried this several times and each time with YOUR support we have staved off these ideologically driven attacks.

Environmentalism is much more than just planting trees — especially in the age of climate change and with the widely held understanding that our economic system that is driving the ecological destruction. 

Feds Going After Our Tax Status: Act Now!

You have probably heard that the federal gov is having another go at the tax status of green groups, including FoE Australia. This time through a discussion paper from Treasury. A number of the nasty recommendations from the House of Reps inquiry are included in this.
It would be great if individual people could send a submission (template here: http://www.foe.org.au/here_we_go_again_dgr_dot_points )
If you have allies in ANY other organisations please ask them to write a submission – unions, churches, aid groups, welfare orgs, footy clubs, etc etc. We really need maximum numbers of submissions on this one. And if you have any prominent allies please tell them about this risk.

This is probably the Coalition’s last chance to damage green groups before the next election so we have to expect they will pursue it vigorously. We need a major mobilisation to defeat it.

There is background info available here: http://www.foe.org.au/here_we_go_againSubmissions need to be in by July 14.