Tasmanian Times


Your Say (Archive 5)

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  1. editor

    April 2, 2005 at 4:05 am

    TRAC Tamar Residents Action Committee

    Les Rochester, Coordinator, 6394 7260, eaglewun@yahoo.com

    Visit our web site http://www.tamar-trac.com

    How will the pulp mill chimney emissions affect you?

    How will the Piper’s River Dam affect your water?

    How will the pulp mills extra woodchips be transported?

    Find out at a public meeting on April 08, 7 p.m. at Sir Raymond Ferrall Centre, UTAS, Alanvale.

    Dave Groves

  2. Jason Lovell

    April 1, 2005 at 8:10 am

    Does anybody else think that the long list of recent gaffes may have prompted the ALP to put an informal protocol in place for Ken Bacon?

    Mr Bacon mentioned the potential breach of “protocol” when refusing to board the Flinders Island flight without his minder last year, only to be informed by the pundits that no such formal protocol exists.

    But what about an informal arrangment, the “Kenny” protocol, if you like? Something like this, maybe?:

    Paulie: Kenny, mate, maaaate, now look here Ken, from now on you’re banned from going within 5 feet of any journalist or tourism industry honcho without your minder directly by your side. Understand? Good. Now, don’t f*ck up again.

    Well, it seems fairly likely to me anyway.


  3. editor

    March 31, 2005 at 4:35 am

    … here:
    His team has also compared the comparative effects of glyphosate and Roundup. And it has observed that the commercial product is more disruptive than its isolated main active ingredient. “Consequently the evaluation of herbicides must take into account the combination with additives in the product,” he says.

    Gilles-Eric Séralini acknowledges that his study must be extended by animal experiments. But he rejects criticisms that have been made on the absence of any real link between in vitro and normal utilization: “Farmers dilute the pure product and are punctually exposed to doses 10,000 times stronger,” he insists. “Our results show that the length of exposure must be taken into account.”

    РA related study at the National Center for Social Research (CNRS) biological station in Roscoff (Finist̬re), over several years on the effects of glyphosate formulations on Sea Urchin cells (a recognised model for the study of early stages of cancer genesis (Tim Hunt earned himself the 2001 Nobel Prize in medicine for this work) showed that Roundup acted on one of the key stages of cellular division.

    – This team demonstrated; (Toxicological Science, December 2004) that a “control point” for DNA damage was affected by Roundup, while glyphosate alone had no effect. “We have shown that it’s a definite risk factor, but we have not evaluated the number of cancers potentially induced, nor the time frame within which they would declare themselves,” the researcher acknowledges. A sprayed droplet could affect thousands of cells.

    – These researchers say, “it’s not necessarily a matter of banning the product – ‘Now it’s for the public authorities to evaluate the benefits and the risks’ – but it is important that users take every possible precaution, for themselves as well as for the public. “I’ve seen people in their underwear spray several square meters in a playground,” the spokesman exclaimed, revolted.

    – In conclusion, this research team noted that Monsanto’s warning on glyphosate that “it is necessary to use it according to the recommended usage.” is in contradiction with it marketing claims of ‘biodegradability’ – which has been judged to be a lie by the American legal system.

    Monsanto predictably dismisses any scientific analysis which contradicts their own studies.

    My strong advice is that all users should carefully read and understand the user instructions. Go beyond the packaging information – get hold of the toxicology reports they supply to Work Cover authorities and read them.

    Keep in mind the Monsanto advice to ‘use according to instructions’. Go one step further and treat any Roundup formulation as hazardous to your health and to the environment. Deal with it accordingly.

    I suffer today from multiple exposures over many years, especially my youth, to a large number of ‘safe’ toxic products. Like Dieldrin and DDT for starters. If you have any care for your own health and future well being, for the health of your family and future generations, the very least you MUST do is be very careful.

    Treat ALL toxic products s dangerous.
    Better still, don’t have anything to do with them!
    There is always another way!

    Footnote: Do a Google search on ‘Monsanto Roundup’. Apart from Monsanto’s own sites and reports, there is a vast amount of data and reports that will get you thinking!

    Paul de Burgh-Day
    Sheffield Tasmania 7306

  4. editor

    March 31, 2005 at 4:31 am

    You Think Roundup is Safe?
    Think again!

    Global chemical giant Monsanto tells you that their Roundup (many variants) is safe. As a result, users treat it accordingly. They are paying a terrible price with their health. And not just their own personal health. Far more serious is the impact on children – damage from toxins is far more severe on them, from the time of conception to the age of maturity.

    Then it gets even worse. Parents – fathers and mothers – particularly fathers who are normally most exposed, pass on genetic damage at the time of conception. This damage then gets passed on through successive generations.

    Typically, the chemical giants and their spin machines trot out reams of information from scientific studies that support their claim. Fact is, most of this ‘science’ was bought and paid for by the corporations.

    Everyone with an interest should obtain Monsanto’s (and other companies) toxicoligy reports – the ones they are required to provide to insurers under Work Cover regulations. Read one of these reports, read the warnings, read the instructions on how to deal with a spill. Then ask yourself who actually takes note of this information and how it squares with the claim that their product is safe.

    I doubt you will ever willingly use the stuff again.

    In the last couple of weeks, an article titled Roundup Doesn’t Poison Only Weeds has been published in Le Monde, one of the most important newspapers in France.

    You can go look at the original in French, but the English translation can be read at:

    Some of the most important points from this article are:
    – Monsanto’s Roundup and its competitors, formulated along similar lines on a base of glyphosate, are the most used herbicides in the world.
    – It has long enjoyed a reputation for being harmless to human health and the environment (this reputation has been based upon the manufacturer’s own marketing claims).
    – Recent studies “seem to indicate that this active ingredient, used by farmers as well as by public road services and Sunday gardeners, could well not be as inoffensive as its promoters claim”.
    – “The stakes are big, because the usage of glyphosate grows along with that of genetically modified organisms, the great majority of which have been specifically conceived to “tolerate” this active ingredient, fatal to plants.”
    – While Roundup and related products were used against weeds, “‘they have become a food product, since they are used on GMOs, which can absorb them without dying,’ maintains the biochemist Gilles-Eric Séralini. A member for years of the French Commission on Biomolecular Genetics (CBG), responsible for preparing the files for requests for field studies, then GMO commercialization, he ceaselessly demands more intense studies on their eventual health impact.”
    – Séralini has “oriented his own research toward the study of the impact of glyphosate. In an article published February 24 in the American journal Environmental Health Perspective, the biochemist and his team from the University of Caen demonstrate, in vitro, several toxic effects of this compound as well as of the additives associated with it to facilitate its diffusion.”
    – Conclusions from the study include, “For their study, the researchers used human placental cell lines, in which very weak doses of glyphosate showed toxic effects and, at still weaker concentrations, endocrinal disturbances. This, for Gilles-Eric Séralini, could explain the high levels of premature births and miscarriages observed in certain epidemiological studies – which are, however, controversial – covering women farmers using glyphosate. “The effect we have observed is proportional to the dose, but also to the length of exposure,” he emphasizes.


  5. Greg Barns

    March 30, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    To answer Mr Brannan’s qury, it is a term commonly used by The Economist magazine, for example, and Green parties around the world are often called the Green Party.

    There is, I can assure, Mr Brannan, nothing sinister behind my use of the term!

  6. Simon Troman

    March 30, 2005 at 11:46 am

    Poor Tas.

    As an expat Tasmanian, as well as talking to my friends and family, I reguarly read The Mercury to try and keep a little in touch with what is happening. More and more I just get depressed with what I read.

    Who are the bozos* running the place down there?

    Does the State Government realise that the opinion of Tasmania as a slow backwater way behind the times is bad enough, without stories like the ‘MPs flight of Farce’ (http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,12697487%255E921,00.html) making the front page?

    How much $$ has been spent on advertising the state, because one story like that one puts the state’s image back so far, all that money has been well and truly wasted.

    How can you let both the police and the idiot responsible get away with this?

    As if the forests weren’t enough.


  7. Barry Brannan

    March 30, 2005 at 5:43 am

    Why does Greg Barns persist with his awkward use of the term “the Green party” in his writings? Does he refer to the Democrats as “the Democrat party”? No.

    I don’t see other mainstream media writers using the term. His intent seems to be to genericize refererences to the Greens and it comes across as a little disrespectful. Perhaps Mr Barns would consider using terms such as “the Greens”, “the Tasmanian Greens” or even “the Greens party” if qualification is really necessary.

    Barry Brannan
    Sandy Bay

  8. editor

    March 30, 2005 at 3:43 am

    I welcome the move to make University student unionism voluntary.

    I graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2002 after 3.5 years of study. I worked casually throughout my period of study, supported substantially by my parents.

    I never received one dollar in Government benefits. I had no disposable income and I was always high irritated at having to pay approximately $240 per annum to a Union that I wanted no part of, nor made use of. The cost of textbooks and living expenses were high enough without that added burden. It seems funny now, but $240 back then seemed like so much money.

    I objected to having to pay for a Uni bar I never used, a bunch of useless societies I never used, a men’s health officer I never used, and a queer space I never used, in addition to the other countless services provided by the Tasmanian University Union. I also strongly objected to having to fund a Student Representative Council, staffed by immense walking egos who loved the sound of their own voices, kissed posters of themselves at night and held the dream of one day being the next Tony Abbott or Julia Gillard. These people rarely developed any policy or action of worth, and made an artform out of verbal diarrhoea and financial mismanagement.

    It’s not that I object to people pissing away their nights (and days) in the Uni Bar, or being a member of a society, or using the student legal service, but I fail to see why students who have no desire to use these services should have to pay for them.

    For me, Uni was a means to an end – I went there to get my bit of paper so I could get a decent job.

    I note that in today’s Examiner, Daniel Hulme who filled some role within the student union movement that I care not to remember, states that Tasmanian students “do not have to pay their services and amenities fee…[they can] apply for a waiver”. Get stuffed mate, it’s my money and I’ll spend it how I see fit, not how you dictate.

    You’re buggered either way

    Apparently it’s all voluntary now anyway, apparently you can opt out as Hulme suggests. But further research indicates that in that event: “…if an individual does choose not to be a member of the organisation, the S&A fee is still charged and collected by the University under the University Ordinances that also govern the application of S&A fees by the Student Association”. http://www.studassoc.utas.edu.au/research/research_areas/tertiary_education/omso_vsu.htm%5D. So the short of it is, you’re buggered either way.

    I find it highly amusing that various proponents of compulsory student unionism cry that many or all of their wonderful services will fall by the wayside if VSU is introduced. Well I’d say that is a pretty fair indication that no-one cares. If enough people do care, they’ll pay their annual fee, most or all of the services will remain, they’ll be issued a member card and still use the services.

    Hulme goes further to say that as it is, we all have to pay for things we don’t necessarily use [that are built into] things like taxes and rates. True, but those things are important to the operation of society, whereas a student union is in no way necessary to the acquisition of a degree, no matter what the morons who can’t blow their own nose say.

    Hulme also feels that motor vehicle insurance and superannuation are further examples of things we may not use but still pay for. Motor vehicle insurance can save you financially and legally and super is paid at a compulsory rate of 9% by your employer and costs you nothing. Perhaps Hulme is still at Uni and is yet to hit the real world.

    I’m not a Liberal voter, I stopped supporting them a couple of years ago, but I am behind the Liberals on this particular issue.

    The guts of the issue is this: the union allows a student to more or less slot into an insular Uni world where food, grog, stationery, legal and medical services and mainly entertainment are all provided on campus. It’s like a mini city, complete with trainee politicians elected to rule the smaller ego’ed students.

    You can survive outside this insular little make believe world with no worries at all.

    I’ll leave you with another Hulmeism which is probably my favourite: “If purchasing freedom is another Federal Government argument then perhaps they should look at abolishing Government as well”. Yeah, because a juvenile student union is as crucial as a Government, how could we possibly survive without the Uni bar? Pratt.

    Geoff Rollins

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