Sunday, May 08, 2011

Crazy Greenie recycling scheme leads to parasites in the Sydney water supply

HUMAN faeces used as fertiliser on farms is being blamed for a breakout of Third World parasites causing a serious stomach illness across Sydney.

Doctors fear the Sydney Water Biosolids Strategy, which turns 180,000 tonnes of human waste into fertiliser yearly, could be behind the emergence of stomach bug, Blastocystis hominis, usually found in dirty water in Third World countries and spread via faeces, and a second parasite which often accompanies it, D. fragilis. Both cause cramps, extreme pain, distended stomach, diarrhoea, weight loss and fatigue.

Confidential microbiology tests, signed off on by Sydney Water in the past four months and obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, detected D. fragilis in one in five samples of primary wastewater. The tests did not look for Blastocystis hominis.

Solid waste removed from the sewage is turned into biosolids and sent to 20 farms in NSW to enrich soil under a sustainability program.

Professor Kerryn Phelps, former head of the Australian Medical Association said there needs to be an independent inquiry into the practice after detecting an increasing number of patients with the parasites in their gut. "I've noticed an increase in these pathogens in people who have not travelled overseas," she said.

"One hundred and eighty thousand tonnes of partially treated sewage is being used as fertiliser annually and the program had not been independently assessed. "From a public health point of view, we have what appears to be a significant problem."

Switzerland and Austria have banned the use of sewerage sludge as fertiliser, while in Sweden and parts of Germany, supermarkets do not stock products treated with biosolids.

Three studies, published in international medical and public health policy journals, found residents living near land where biosolids are used suffered a statistically higher rate of illness.

The most recent, a 2007 health survey of residents living near Ohio farm fields which use biosolids, published in the international journal, Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, said this: "Results revealed that some reported health-related symptoms were statistically significantly elevated among the exposed residents. The findings suggest an increased risk for certain respiratory, gastrointestinal and other diseases among residents living near farm fields on which the use of biosolids was permitted."

Yet, NSW Health has not reviewed the potential health impacts of the program nor conducted tests on the farms where soil has been fertilised with human faeces.

Leading gastroenterologist, Professor Thomas Borody, who carried out research supporting the team that won a Nobel Prize for cure of stomach ulcers, said there needs to be an investigation into the biosolids program to give the public certainty that human faeces is not infecting our food supply.

He said in the past 10 to 15 years, 1500 people had been diagnosed with D. fragilis and Blastocystis in his practice. "If we are going to be using foods grown on crops which use these biosolids it would be good to have a certain level of assurance that they are not carrying pathogens," he said.

He said the parasite Blastocystis homonis was difficult to kill in humans. "The problem, apart from parasites, is viruses," he said. "Faecal matter transmits viruses that give you diarrhoea. What worries us more is the sporadic case of Hepatitis B and C when you do not know how it has been caught. Some people have never used needles."

Despite the discussion in medical journals about the transmission of D. fragilis, Sydney Water's spokesman said the bug was not a concern and was unlikely to survive for long outside the human body. "Sydney Water is unaware of any cases of illnesses directly caused by biosolids," the spokesman said.

Former general manager of Pittwater City Council, Angus Gordon, who retired in 2006, said NSW Health advised him not to use biosolids on sports ovals because it was not safe around children.

"The problem with biosolids was, at the time we were being advised, that there was the possibility of pathogens being within the biosolids," he said. "We were asking the question: if we were to use this material would it be safe for people, particularly children, to play on those fields, given that people do sustain injuries and grazes? "At the time we rejected it on the basis that we weren't able to get the assurances."

NSW Health's spokesman said if Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines were adhered to, the use of biosolids was unlikely to present a risk to public health. The 92-page long EPA guidelines state that if biosolids are used on agricultural land, crops - from potatoes to lettuce and turf - should not be grown for between 18 months and five years. There is also a 30-day harvesting rule for animal feed and fibre crops.

"Where there is a high potential for public exposure, access should be restricted by fencing and signing for one year after biosolids application," the guidelines state.

Sydney Water's water quality and public health program manager Peter Cox could not give a definitive answer when asked whether pathogens could be transferred from biosolids to humans, posing a health risk.

"What we do is we manage the guidelines to make sure that the biosolids are safe for the purpose that they are used," he said. "Pathogens can exist in very low numbers but not enough to cause any harm. There are lots and lots of pathogens and it will depend on the individual bit of biosolid that you pick up to analyse. The whole management of biosolids, which includes treatment and potential for exposure, is there so that it doesn't cause a risk to health."

Sydney Water does not conduct testing on its biosolids for the two parasites and would not reveal which pathogens, if any, it does test for. "We don't routinely test for things that are not required for us to test in the guidelines," Mr Cox said.


Illegals headed for Australia to be diverted to Malaysia

This deal is a shocker. Another 4,000 useless Muslims to be added to Australia's welfare rolls. And it will probably be more than that. If the refugee status of the illegals is to be assessed by U.N. officials rather than Australian officials, there are not going to be many rejections. Let's hope the bleeding hearts knock this idea on the head. Both the Greens and the conservatives are opposing the deal so it could well die. The Greens are the tail that wags the dog in the Australian government

ASYLUM seekers relocated to Malaysia could be abused, with reports of canings in immigration centres. The move to trade asylum seekers between the Australia and Malaysia is likely to come under fire from human rights groups.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that Australia and Malaysia were close to signing off on an agreement which would see 800 asylum seekers who try to make their way to Australia by sea instead taken immediately to Malaysia for processing.

In return, Australia would expand its humanitarian intake to resettle an extra 4000 genuine refugees already residing in Malaysia over four years.

But asylum seekers sent to Malaysia, which is not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention, may receive rougher justice than in Australia. Figures out of Kuala Lumpur show that over the past five years almost 30,000 foreigners had been subject to caning by Malaysian authorities for immigration offences.

While most countries have abolished judicial caning, Malaysia has expanded the practice with the number of offences covered by the punishment having been increased to more than 60. In March, Malaysia's Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, admitted in parliament that 29,759 foreigners had been caned between 2005 and 2010 for immigration offences alone.

An Amnesty International investigation into 57 cases of judicial caning in Malaysia, published in December, found the punishment could be classified as torture as authorities had intentionally inflicted severe pain and suffering. The human rights organisation said tens of thousands of refugees and migrant workers had been caned since 2002, when Malaysia amended the Immigration Act to make immigration violations such as illegal entry subject to the punishment.

Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young also pointed out that Malaysia was not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention and asylum seekers taken there could be subjected to abuse. "There have been deaths of people in incarceration, while health conditions, particularly for children and their families, are horrid," she said.

Meanwhile, Ms Gillard said the arrangement with Malaysia was part of building a regional approach to combating people smuggling. "From the time that the agreement comes into effect, 800 people seeking to come to Australia by boat, hoping to have their claims processed in Australia, hoping to end up resettled in Australia, will be taken to Malaysia instead," she said.

Asylum seekers transferred to Malaysia would have their claims assessed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees but would not receive any preferential treatment in terms of processing their claims.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said he expected the deal, which had been negotiated with the Malaysian government over the last seven months, to be finalised in coming weeks. The arrangement would add an additional 4000 places to Australia's humanitarian intake over four years.

In October last year, Australia provided Malaysia with $1 million worth of equipment, including patrol boats, to help combat people smuggling.


"Refugee" detention centre a 'powder keg', say police, amid claims violent incidents are being covered up

VIOLENT incidents at Inverbrackie are being kept secret amid claims the centre is a "powder keg".

The Federal Opposition claims incidents at the Woodside centre are being covered up amid concerns about the ability to control a major disturbance such as the recent riot at the Villawood Detention Centre.

Federal MP for Mayo Jamie Briggs has lodged Freedom of Information applications seeking details of security breaches at Inverbrackie.

He warned a major incident could quickly escalate because of a ban on SA Police entering the centre's grounds.

Police sources have described the centre, which has 323 detainees including 96 children, as a "powder keg", predicting a major incident would occur.

"It is being discussed among police and there are fears it could blow at any time," an officer said.

The Sunday Mail understands from independent sources who have been on the site that several violent but isolated incidents have occurred at Inverbrackie where detainees face high stress levels while waiting to find out if they have been accepted as refugees.

Earlier this year hard-pressed staff had to resort to a "Code Black" call for emergency assistance, after a fight erupted among female residents, although it is believed the situation was quickly calmed.

Other incidents have included several where staff members have been assaulted and one in which a child was disciplined after hitting a bus driver with a piece of wire.

The Sunday Mail has been told of an incident where a man was injured when he deliberately smashed his head through a plate-glass window, although an Immigration Department spokesman said the only record of such an incident was a man banging his head against a door.

Centre operator Serco is reviewing security procedures after a couple briefly breached the facility's perimeter last month by walking out of the front gate while pushing a baby in a stroller.

An Immigration spokesman confirmed security incidents had occurred at the centre but stressed they were all minor in nature and were "past history".

Mr Briggs said he had had to resort to Freedom of Information after encountering great difficulty in finding out details about incidents at the centre.

"I'm concerned that Immigration may say they are not aware of incidents but that may be because Serco is not telling them," he said.

"The community panel also have been made to sign confidentiality agreements for privacy reasons so they can't alert the public to what may be happening."

Staff are forbidden from talking about incidents but it is known some are feeling stressed from working 12 hour-plus shifts while dealing with people frustrated at the time taken to process their applications.

The vast majority of the detainees are said to be well behaved and keen to learn English. However, it is understood some are using "aggressive and antagonistic" behaviour in order to trigger fast-tracked meetings with Immigration officials - on the basis that "the squeaky wheel gets the oil".

A common way is a short-term refusal to eat meals.

Last month a riot at the Villawood Detention Centre, Sydney, saw large sections set on fire and and more than a dozen detainees stage an 11-day rooftop protest, but NSW Police were powerless to intervene as the facility is federal property.

In March, there were two large scale breakouts of detainees at the Christmas Island facility as well as rooftop protests, and a protest was also staged at the Curtin Detention Centre in WA's far north.

Serco referred all inquiries about security to the Immigration Department, which said there were no plans to expand the centre beyond its capacity for about 400 people.

Mr Briggs has written to Police Minister Kevin Foley seeking clarification of SA Police powers in the event of a major disturbance, and what legal protection SAPOL officers have if they are called to intervene in an incident on the compound's perimeter.

"There is a culture of secrecy surrounding Inverbrackie and I have had numerous calls from residents concerned about exactly what is going on there but find it hard to get straight answers," Mr Briggs said.

"We have seen significant violent incidents at Villawood in Sydney and on Christmas Island, and it concerns me that bureaucratic hurdles may impede the ability of SAPOL to act against disturbances at the facility.

"In the interests of the local community I would not want to see a situation occur where SAPOL is sidelined while a disturbance at Inverbrackie becomes destructive and out of control."

A spokesman for Mr Foley confirmed the centre was under the jurisdiction of the the Australian Federal Police and Immigration officials.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Canings? Maybe Malaysia is as sick of them as we and the Indonesians are.
Don't brand them all as Muslims either, coz that misses out the even classier Tamil Tigers among them. Try "scumbags". That about covers it.