Blinded by Big Food?

The Sunday Times - - YOUR SAY WA -

In­stead of be­ing lead­ers in pub­lic health and safety, are Aus­tralia’s reg­u­la­tors and health ministers be­ing blind-sided by the pow­er­ful profit mo­tives of the food and bev­er­age in­dus­try, leav­ing the pub­lic to pick up the tab for in­jury to our health? (Kids high on en­ergy drinks, TST, Oct 1).

The risks to chil­dren and preg­nant moth­ers from con­sum­ing high-caf­feine en­ergy drinks are well-known from re­search find­ings around the world, in­clud­ing the Telethon Kids In­sti­tute and the Univer­sity of WA.

Lawyers and health prac­ti­tion­ers are rec­om­mend­ing the risks of high-caf­feine en­ergy drinks to health and com­mu­nity are con­sid­ered sim­i­lar to al­co­hol and should be sim­i­larly reg­u­lated (and taxed).

Pre­ven­ta­tive health mea­sures are im­por­tant items for con­sid­er­a­tion in the Sus­tain­able Health Re­view, cur­rently un­der way in WA with pub­lic fo­rums be­ing con­ducted around the metropoli­tan and re­gional ar­eas. Writ­ten sub­mis­sions are due on Oc­to­ber 27. SHIRLEY COLLINS Shen­ton Park

Heart-rend­ing loss

What a heart-rend­ing story of a 17-year-old young man, re­counted by his mother (TST, Oc­to­ber 1).

Just what drives a suc­cess­ful young boy, aca­dem­i­cally mo­ti­vated and a high achiever, to take his own life? Is it pos­si­ble that with all the mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and “know-how” at our dis­posal, we can’t find an an­swer to the dec­i­ma­tion of our young ones? In of­fer­ing my sin­cer­est sym­pa­thy to Mrs Frost and fam­ily, I would like to add that, at times, we may try every­thing in the book to pro­tect our fam­ily from harm, but un­for­tu­nately “destiny” steps in and there is noth­ing we can do to stop the wheel from turn­ing. MARIO RAPANARO Dianella Logic on car­bon With cli­mate change de­niers mak­ing waves again, headed by non-sci­en­tists An­drew Bolt and Tony Ab­bott, I want to put my case, based on logic.

Fact: since the start of the in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion we are pump­ing bil­lions (yes, bil­lions) of tonnes of car­bon diox­ide into the at­mos­phere ev­ery year. When I was in school we were taught that CO2 is a gas, which has no weight. So the bil­lions of tonnes is made up of mi­cro­scopic par­ti­cles of car­bon. These float around in the at­mos­phere for many years be­fore fall­ing back to Earth. So, de­niers, pray tell me that these bil­lions of tonnes of car­bon float­ing in our at­mos­phere are not block­ing the sun or keep­ing heat from es­cap­ing the Earth. Can someone please tell me that and show ev­i­dence? FRANK DILORITO Usher

Helpline for el­ders

Great to hear there is go­ing to be a peak body to give older peo­ple a stronger voice in re­la­tion to re­port­ing el­der abuse, whether it be fi­nan­cial or phys­i­cal (TST, Oct 1).

One can only hope there will, along­side a web­site for those who are com­puter savvy, be a phone num­ber (prefer­ably a 1800 free num­ber) for peo­ple to ring and get printed in­for­ma­tion sent. If they do not have access to the in­ter­net, they are at a dis­tinct dis­ad­van­tage in get­ting help­ful in­for­ma­tion. MAR­GARET RYAN Bal­la­jura

Our re­port on en­ergy drinks last week.

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