Sunday 31st of August 2014

abbottville, joyville and the EPO factory...


The list of sponsors for Carers Australia makes interesting reading... and could create conflict of interests for any politician pedalling for one of its star events, Pollie Pedal. This could include catholic pollies, considering one of the sponsors is the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.  

There would be considerable conflict of interests for politicians being seen to support some sponsors — especially pharmaceuticals, firms that do greatly influence the cost of Medicare via the cost of medicines — in a charitable event, specially for Abbott who passed the cost of his "charitable" involvement back to the government. This is unacceptable.

This shows that POLLIE PEDAL has only been a platform for Abbott to show off his POLITICAL muscles (and his ugly budgies), rather than be truly charitable like we "all" are (even if we are stingy). Even if donations are tax deductible we don't get the government to pay for our expenses... If Pollie Pedal was a truly charitable exercise, Abbott WOULD NOT MAKE THE GOVERNMENT PAY FOR HIS EXPENSES of this event, nor any expenses of other events, in which he boosted his "notoriety" without costs to himself, apart for a bit of sweat... and hopefully a flat tyre.

Thus the saga of Nashville — sorry, I mean of the Abbottville and the Joyville association (Abbott and Cadbury via Senator Nash) — where a chocolate factory is earmarked to get 15 millions bux from the Abbott regime should Abbott win the elections, as he did so win (supported by the vile sponsorship of Mr Murdoch as well) — is a pretty straight forward case of political chocolate fudge. 





Abbott also recently revealed – albeit very reluctantly – that assistant health minister Senator Fiona Nash’s ex-chief of staff, Alastair Furnival [seen] with Abbott and Eric Abetz at the Cadbury plant in August 2013, just happened to be acting on behalf of Cadbury as an ‘economist’ while Abbott was negotiating with them just prior to the election and, indeed, was himself lobbying for funds from the Government for the company.

Which is strange, as he [Alastair Furnival] was also then listed as a director of Australian Public Affairs: a lobby group that ACTED on behalf of several companies, including Mondelez and its subsidiary, Cadbury. At the time, he was also working as a political consultant. My bet is with and in the office of Senator Fiona Nash.

Furnival hit the media radar recently when it was discovered that he, acting as chief of staff for Senator Nash, shut down a website that promoted healthy eating the same day a person from a powerful food lobby – Gary Dawson from the Australian Food and Grocery Council – called the office to ‘complain’ that the website was active and live.

The media has work to do. Just when did Gary Dawson contact Senator Nash’s office? 

According to Dawson, he called that day...

read more:,6228


Now, we need THAT website to be revisited to see what was wrong with it...

But even Google did not seem to get a grip on it...  Usually Google manages to hold in its virtual web bank images of "former" websites or pages that have been removed... It's quite uncanny. I know of webpages that have been deleted a long time ago and still paraded by Google...

So what is it all about:



Front-of -Pack Labelling update 13 December 2013

On 13 December 2013 the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (Forum) considered refinements made to the Health Star Rating (HSR) Calculator to address initial technical issues with star ratings for dairy products. The Forum endorsed the Calculator for the HSR system. The Forum also noted that a process for addressing anomalies would be developed by the Front-of-Pack Labelling (FoPL) Oversight Committee. The Forum agreed on membership of the FoPL Oversight Committee, comprising nine representatives from government, industry and community. The FoPL Oversight Committee is expected to be established in early 2014.
communiquè from the meeting of the Forum is available on the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation webpage.
The communiqué is NOWHERE TO BE SEEN  by Gus' old computer... It could be on a more up-to-date machine. I dunno...




But as a fall back position, here is something to look at:
On 14 June 2013, the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) endorsed a Front-of-Pack Labelling (FoPL) system that, except for agreed exemptions, applies to all packaged, manufactured or processed foods presented ready for sale to the customer in the retail sector and includes:
  • a star rating element and a nutrient information element;
      • the star rating being underpinned by a modified Nutrient Profiling Scoring Criterion (NPSC);
      • a star rating scale of ½ a star to 5 stars, with ½ star increments and a “slider” above the relevant star/half star with the corresponding number to highlight the star rating of the food;
      • the star rating being branded ‘Health Star Rating’;
      • nutrient information elements for saturated fat, sugars and sodium and one optional positive nutrient information element (e.g. calcium) relevant to the particular food; and
      • the option of including the word ‘high’ with the positive nutrient element and ‘low’ with saturated fat, sugars and sodium elements where applicable.
  • an ‘energy’ icon, with the unit of measure in kilojoules; and
  • an alternative FoPL approach for certain foods (e.g. smaller packages may display the energy icon with or without stars, integrated approaches for confectionery and beverages).
The Forum recognised that further work was required to finalise some of the details of the system and that this work would be undertaken over the next 12 months led by the existing FoPL Project Committee.
One has to know that the forum doing this caper are no slouch:

Membership of the Oversight Committee:

Dr Kevin Buckett – Committee Chair (SA Health). 
Dr Anne Astin – (Commonwealth). 
Dr Lisa Szabo – NSW Food Authority (NSW Health).
Professor Geoffrey Dobb – Australian Medical Association (WA) (Public Health). 
Ms Jenni Mack – Choice (Consumer). 
Mr Michael Moore – Public Health Association of Australia (Public Health). 
Mr Gary Dawson – Australian Food and Grocery Council (Industry). 
Mr Russel Goss – Australian National Retailers Association (Industry).
Mr Tim Piper – Australian Industry Group (Industry).

So it is possible that Choice had a small grip on the bizo... But there too, there does not seem to be something to be seen... One needs to be a sleuth. There is somewhere in the ether some remnants or the full on the food site, even if in a frozen format...


Then we need to investigate the pedalling pollies...:



You may have noticed our Prime Minister Tony Abbott riding around in cycling kit with the Amgen logo across his chest, back and legs. Amgen is the principal sponsor of an Australian fundraising cycling event called Pollie Pedal, which, not surprisingly, features politicians cycling to raise money for various charities (this year, Carers Australia). So what, exactly, is Amgen?

Amgen is an American drug company, one of four that sponsor Pollie Pedal along with the pharmaceutical industry group Medicines Australia. This is ironic, given Tony Abbott’s cabinet has dropped science from its portfolio and for the first time in around 80 years we do not have some form of science ministry.



Now, unless you have been living as a hermit in the Simpson Desert for the last decade, the irony of the manufacturers of EPO [Amgen]  sponsoring a cycling event will not have escaped you. I have to emphasise though that Amgen does not condone or support the abuse of EPO by athletes in any way. Indeed, most of the EPO used in athletics does not come from Amgen but is made by pirate drug companies.

What EPO did was revolutionise the treatment of anaemia in chronic kidney failure. In chronic kidney failure people have anaemia due to a variety of factors, including high blood urea destroying blood cells and blood loss during dialysis.

This leads to complications with the heart and blood vessels, and the debilitating symptoms of chronically low blood haemoglobin seriously reduced people’s quality of life. Additionally, low blood haemoglobin and increased antibodies from multiple blood transfusions lowered the success rates for kidney transplants.

EPO changed all that. People with chronic kidney failure are living longer and better lives, and kidney transplants are more successful due to EPO. EPO started Amgen’s fortunes.

But you would be surprised to learn that EPO is not Amgen’s top-selling drug. That is the anti-arthritis drug etanercept, an antibody that knocks out a key inflammatory protein involved in arthritis. Etanercept is also the 7th highest earning drug in the US. The next highest selling drug is Filgrastim, a protein related to EPO that boosts white blood cell numbers in people who can’t make enough white blood cells. It is the 10th highest earner in the US.

read more:





In December 2012, AMGEN pleaded guilty to illegally marketing its product Arensep and agreed to pay $US762 million in criminal penalties as well as settlements in related whistle-blower lawsuits. Arensep is a synthetic version of erythropoietin – EPO – an artificial blood booster that stimulates the production of red blood cells. EPO has valuable uses in the treatment of anaemia and in the 1990s was used enthusiastically – and illegally – by endurance athletes in search of an effective energy boost.

Kathleen Sharp, whose book ‘Blood Medicine: Blowing the Whistle on One of the Deadliest Prescription Drugs Ever‘ examines the sharp marketing practices used by some Big Pharma companies to promote their products, notes that AMGEN and Johnson & Johnson (the other major manufacturer of EPO) had for years been locked in a marketing war.

read more:


Hum... Meanwhile:




Pollie Pedal 2013 was officially launched this morning at Parliament House, Canberra, by The Hon Tony Abbott MHR.


The annual charity bike ride will start in Adelaide on 28 April, and ride 1,000 kilometres through South Australia and Victoria to finish in Geelong on 5 May. Since its inception, Pollie Pedal has raised over $2.5 million for a range of charitable organisations.
“In 2013 Pollie Pedal will again be raising funds for Carers Australia,” said Mr Abbott, “and the proceeds will go towards helping Australia become more ‘carer aware’.”
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Nothing wrong with a bit of charity. And I have noted that Carers Australia has been an ardent supporter of the NDIS created by Julia Gillard... This means that caring would become part of a national strategy with cash that would help ALL CARERS be less reliant on irregular Charity, including those who are doing tough who do not get charitable support (I know a few of these). This would become a human rights issue. Humanistic quality care as part of the entire community spirit.
Very quickly, after judging that fighting the concept of a NDIS would be bad publicity, Abbott agreed to it, with of course the weasel proviso of economic rationale. So far, with the economy going to the dogs under Abbott, there is little chance of implementing the scheme which, I know, under Labor would already be near operational. So what went wrong?
The Liberals (CONservatives) hate anything Labor does that can achieve a better social equity, even if a bit wonky at times, the process ends up doing things right... The right wing-nuts hate this so much they get their budgies into a knot. They rather sabotage the whole country rather than accept Labor making inroads towards "social building"... So the Liberals (CONservatives) sold us a package of lies and trickery, helped by the master of fudge media, Uncle Rupe...
This is unacceptable and we need to redress the situation.
Joe Hockey makes rumbling noises about the "economy", but he has no clue on how to fake it and he can't stop himself hitting people on the head (the end of the age of entitlement or such crap). Even by hitting people on the head, things won't work out. 
Abbottville is an embarrassing place to be.  It stinks of corruption beyond what we can imagine, but as usual, the little donkey is the one taking the wrap for all the ills on earth... 
We have to demand the resignation of both Nash — who has NOT met with health bodies after more than six months in the job (but was sitting daily next to a food lobbyist with clout)— and Abbott who is supporting this shit. Anything less won't do.



Added (sarcastic) note: Unlike the pronouncement by little Rattus Abbott that the Carbon Tax would "wipe Whyalla off the map" in South Australia — which did not happened in that steel city, may I say the little rat having been in the charitable political pedalling — which ended in Geelong, Victoria— that this city, Geelong, near Melbourne, has been hit for six with more factory closures that one can ever remember — all since the little rat took over the lever of his regime... Insert sarcastic guffaw, here, except we're looking at many lives being disrupted, shattered and possibly ended because of the little rat, Rattus the second...







On February 5, Senator Nash’s office ordered the health food rating website to be taken down. On the same day the CEO of food peak body, the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Gary Dawson, spoke to the minister’s office and urged the website’s removal, ABC’s 7.30 program revealed.
The junior minister continues to weather criticism over her former chief of staff, Alastair Furnival's involvement in a decision to shut down the government's healthy food website on the day it was posted.
Mr Furnival resigned earlier this month when it was revealed that he co-owned with his wife a lobbying firm that represented clients in the junk food industry.Prime Minister Tony Abbott deflected questions in Parliament on Thursday when asked about the background of Mr Furnival and his role in a Coalition election promise of a $16 million grant for a Cadbury chocolate factory in Tasmania.
The opposition probed Mr Furnival's involvement in the Cadbury funding after it was revealed he had been employed by the chocolate company immediately before taking up the most senior post in Senator Nash's office, where he would have direct influence over health and food policy.
Key health organisations contacted by Fairfax Media said they had not met with Senator Nash "directly" despite, in some cases, trying numerous times to organise meetings.
"A number of times we requested a meeting with the Assistant Health Minister, but we were directed to one of her advisers," said Melanie Walker, acting CEO of the Public Health Association.

Read more:

oh... he does get it...


Tony Abbott just doesn’t get it.

The accusation against his Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash is not just one of parliamentary jaywalking: a momentary lapse of diligence in observing the ministerial code of conduct, or the inadvertent and short-lived misleading of parliament as a result.

The accusation is that her office corrupted – and the word is chosen carefully and deliberately – the process of government, and this, even by Abbott’s standards, is surely a sacking offence. There may, of course, be an innocent explanation; but if so, Nash has not yet provided it. And the evidence to hand looks pretty damning.

When Abbott appointed Nash as Assistant Minister for Health, she in turn appointed Alastair Furnival as her chief of staff. Like most new staffers, Furnival was vetted by a committee which included Abbott’s own chief of staff, Peta Credlin, and the government leader in the senate, Eric Abetz.

Abetz now says that Furnival’s connection with the firm Australian Public Affairs, which lobbied for the food and alcohol industry, was known to most ministers. This in itself should have been enough to suggest a looming conflict of interest; but the appointment went ahead. Abbott’s ministerial code of conduct required Furnival to break off all contact with APA, but he didn’t, and apparently no-one – least of all his minister – bothered to check.

In government Furnival moved swiftly to cut off the funding of Australia’s principle advisory body on drugs and alcohol and prevented its members – including a former MP, the medico Mal Washer – from protesting to Nash directly. He then moved to block the implementation of the health star system on retail food; this time he needed Nash’s own imprimatur, which was readily given. There was no decent explanation for either decision, despite the fact that both looked anti- rather than pro-health.

It was clear that Furnival was driving policy from the minister’s office, but Nash defended him: “There is no connection whatsoever between my chief of staff and the company Australian Public Affairs,” she told Parliament. “My chief of staff has no connection with the food industry and is simply doing his job.” Then she returned to the senate to add “for the sake completeness” that Furnival still held a shareholding in APA.

In fact Furnival and his wife are the sole shareholders in the holding company which controls APA – more than a casual interest. When this came out Abbott decided to cut his losses and Furnival was informed that his resignation had been accepted whether it was offered or not. And that, said the prime minister, was the end of the matter.

Well, for the moment, perhaps. Nash survived, and said she hoped to get a new, improved version of the health star system up and running in a few months, but failed to explain her mendacity, negligence and subservience regarding Furnival. And as a postscript, it was revealed that one of Furnival’s clients, the Mondelez food giant, came out in the star ratings very badly indeed; its products were decidedly unhealthy.

But not as unhealthy as the system which sought to protect them, and very nearly succeeded. The incident shows that the government is in urgent need of a severe purging.


Mungo, you are right about everything except one thing... Abbott does get it!.. He has to know what is happening here is totally corrupt.  BUT with the support of the merde-och press and that of screw-loose Bolt and other shock-jocks who wear similar budgie smugglers as Abbotts for flags, he can do what he wants to...

That is to say he will tell us to go and fly a kite, EVEN IF THE WHOLE NASH AFFAIR IS CORRUPT FROM TOP TO BUM (I mean bottom)... Tony the weasel rat will get away with this caper until the cows are blue and his face is dirty like a cow's butt coming home.  

And Australia is taken for a ride on a steam train full of chocolate... What are we complaining about?

no smoke, no fire? what about ten tons of hypocrisy?

Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash has been censured by the Senate, accused of misleading parliament over her connection to the removal of a food rating website.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott is standing by his junior minister.

Labor and the Australian Greens on Wednesday used their numbers in the upper house to censure Senator Nash despite her strenuous denials.

Opposition Senate Leader Penny Wong said it was not a step Labor took lightly, because censuring a minister was a serious matter in parliament.


But the chamber had been treated with contempt by an assistant minister with an "unhealthy tendency to mislead" and action was needed, she said.

"The minister has failed to account for her actions by answering questions, and when she has ... she has demonstrated at best a reckless disregard for the truth," Senator Wong told parliament.

Despite the censure, Senator Nash's position appears secure with Mr Abbott repeating his defence of her in parliament.

"Not a single person has done anything wrong in this case," he told question time in the lower house as senators debated the censure motion.

"Not only is there no fire, there's not even any smoke."

nothing to see here ....

Parliament has censured Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash for misleading the Senate and refusing to produce documentation about her employment of a junk food industry lobbyist in her office.

Labor says Senator Nash's position is no longer tenable and has called on her to resign after the extraordinary vote passed the Senate with the support of the Greens. Only three such censure motions have passed in the past 10 years.

Senator Nash had until early on Wednesday afternoon to produce a document she claims outlines measures she put in place to address her chief of staff's co-ownership of a firm that lobbies for soft drink and confectionery companies.

Until his resignation last month, Alastair Furnival was a director and co-owner, with his wife, of the company that owned lobbying firm Australian Public Affairs. Fairfax Media uncovered his connection with the junk food industry after he and Senator Nash intervened to take down a new healthy food-rating website.

Senator Penny Wong said the Australian public was asking whether Senator Nash's title should be changed to ''the senator for snack foods''.

''I should not need to move this censure, the prime minister should have acted,'' she said. ''The Senate, the press gallery, the Australian public, have been treated with contempt.''

While a censure motion will not have a direct impact, it will increase pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to discipline Senator Nash.

In the lower house, Mr Abbott insisted that neither Senator Nash nor Mr Furnival had committed any wrongdoing.

''Not a single person has done anything wrong in this case … not only is there no fire, there is not even any smoke,'' Mr Abbott said in response to a question from Labor health spokeswoman Catherine King.

His remarks appear to contradict those made last week, in which he told parliament Mr Furnival was ''dilatory'' in divesting himself of a shareholding.

In the Senate, Senator Wong said Senator Nash had never adequately explained why the healthy food website was taken down at the same time as her most senior adviser owned a business that ''profited from helping food industry clients get what they wanted from government''.

Senator Nash said Mr Furnival's wife, Tracey Cain, had agreed not to lobby government staff or ministers on behalf of her junk food industry clients.

''There was no conflict of interest, the appropriate undertakings were put in place and they were adhered to,'' she said.

Censured Senator Fiona Nash Denies Wrongdoing Over Junk Food Link

no chocolate subsidies here...

Farming and tourism are tough industries to thrive in but one family in the far north of New South Wales has successfully run a productive tropical fruit farm as a holiday attraction for 30 years.

Just south of the Queensland border, Tropical Fruit World opened its doors in 1983 as Avocado Land.

It was the brainchild of Bob Brinsmead and his wife Valerie who bought the land in the early 1970s.

Originally a government fruit research station boasting a few avocado trees, the couple kept planting more until they were producing at a commercial level.

"We just loved avocados, the whole family was addicted to avocados," Mr Brinsmead said.

"Wasn't long before we had about 3,000 avocado trees but then we wanted more than avocados."

Over the next decade Mr Brinsmead started growing every tropical fruit imaginable. There are now more than 500 different types of fruit growing in his orchard.

"I must say not every type of fruit we brought here and trialled ended up being a sensation," he said.

"Some of them proved to be great garden fruits to grow in the home garden that you could never commercialise."

dumb abbott regime...

The government has paid nearly a million dollars to cover its sudden axing of Australia's peak drug and alcohol body, documents reveal.

A leaked report from the administrator winding up the Alcohol and Other Drug Council of Australia shows the government has paid out more than $949,000 so far because of the decision by beleaguered Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash to cut the organisation's funding without notice.

Public health groups and former Liberal MP and council board president Mal Washer have said the decision was ill-informed, especially given the organisation cost only between $1.3 million and $1.6 million annually.

The wind-up cost raises further questions as to why the senator chose to cut the council's funding on the grounds she could no longer afford to provide for the organisation, which had been funded for almost 50 years.

Senator Nash was censured in Parliament this month for misleading the Senate and refusing to produce documentation outlining how her chief of staff was allowed to continue working for her despite co-owning a company that had worked for the alcohol and junk food industries.

Dr Washer, who has resigned because he says the lack of funding made his position untenable, said the decision was ''a bloody tragedy''. ''This wasn't subject to any review … it was dumb advising dumber, and dumb won,'' he said.

Read more:

of tourism and of chocolate factory...


Ukraine Election: The Chocolate King Rises

It would have seemed ludicrous just six months ago, but candy magnate Petro Poroshenko has now become the leading candidate in the Ukrainian election. The question remains: Is he an opportunist or a visionary?

Those wanting to understand Petro Poroshenko should visit Vinnytsia, a provincial capital 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Kiev, on the Southern Bug River, with 370,000 inhabitants and a medical university.

For a long time, it had only two tourist attractions. The first is the former estate of Nikolai Pirogov -- the doctor who founded field surgery in Russia and died in 1881, but lies embalmed here, like Lenin, in his family tomb on the edge of the city. The other is the "Werwolf" headquarters that Hitler had built here in 1942, located in a forest eight kilometers north of Vinnytsia.

As of about three years ago, Vinnytsia has a third attraction: the biggest dancing waters show in Europe. Its fountains, which are installed in the river, shoot water 70 meters (229 feet) into the air, accompanied by a music-and-laser show. Tourists from all over Ukraine come here to see what is considered one of the 10 most impressive water shows in the world.At least that's what they say in Vinnytsia's two candy factories, both of which belong to the Roshen conglomerate. Roshen is the biggest chocolate manufacturer in Ukraine, and its owner is one of the richest people in the country. He gave the fountains to the city as a gift and, this Sunday, he could very well be elected president of Ukraine. His name: Petro Poroshenko.Poroshenko represents Vinnytsia in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament. That's why he came here -- to explain why he is the best suited to lead his country as it sinks into civil war.In Vinnytsia, there are no traces of the fighting. It's a calm, modern city. The buses run around the clock, there is Internet in the streetcars and you can call a hotline to complain to the mayor if something isn't working. Vinnytsia is the counterpoint to the working-class Luhansk on the Russian border.

'Live in a New Way'

On this particular day, several thousand people are waiting for Poroshenko, the man whom Ukrainians call the "chocolate king." The crowd will be easy to convince -- not only because 5,000 locals have found work in his factories, but because he pays higher wages than they are used to here. He also recently opened another factory in Vinnytsia that manufactures canned milk.


See story at top...