Daily News Roundup

September 3, 2018

Image: ABC News

Capilano, Australia’s biggest honey producer, and supermarkets accused of selling ‘fake’ honey

Australia’s biggest listed honey company and some of the country’s largest supermarket chains face accusations of unwittingly selling “fake” honey.

Testing at a leading international scientific lab that specialises in honey fraud detection has found that almost half the honey samples selected from supermarket shelves were “adulterated”, meaning it has been mixed with something other than nectar from bees.

The adulterated samples were all products that blend local and imported honey.

ASX-listed Capilano’s Allowrie-branded Mixed Blossom Honey, which sources honey from Australia and overseas, and markets itself as 100 per cent honey, showed up as “adulterated” in the majority of samples tested.

Capilano strongly denied any issues with its products and criticised the type of test — known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) — used to detect the impurities, pointing out that it differed from the official Australian test.

There is no suggestion that Capilano’s eponymous brand of Australian-sourced honey has any issue or that Capilano or other brands were aware of the adulteration.

Phil McCabe, the president of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association (Apimondia), believes the NMR test is the most accurate available and thinks consumers are not getting what they paid for.

“Adulterated honey isn’t honey at all,” he told 7.30.

“By and large [the impurity] is some kind of syrup that’s been converted to look like honey, it tastes like honey.

“Everything about it seems to be honey, when in fact it’s just sugar syrup or something else.

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Christine Forster aborts Wentworth tilt days after announcing she would run

Less than a week after confirming she was running for Liberal pre-selection in the Wentworth by-election, Christine Forster has pulled out.

Ms Forster — the sister of former prime minister Tony Abbott — made the announcement on social media, saying her candidature had become a “proxy for division” in the party.

The seat had been held by Malcolm Turnbull, who resigned from Federal Parliament on Friday, one week after being ousted as prime minister.

Ms Forster said she had wanted to “represent and advocate for the people of my local community”.

“The commentary about my candidacy since then, however, has focused on the suggestion that it was a proxy for division within the Liberal party,” her Facebook post read.

“That is not the case, but to avoid any such perception, I will be standing aside and giving my full support to the successful candidate.”

The seat is considered safe Liberal territory, but analysts said it would attract interest amongst potential candidates because it was a prized electorate.

Other potential frontrunners include former diplomat Dave Sharma and former acting federal director of the Liberal Party Andrew Bragg.

Independent councillor Kerryn Phelps is also being encouraged to run, but is keeping her cards close to her chest and has not announced a decision.

The Greens have chosen Waverley Deputy Mayor Dominik Wy Kanak as their candidate, while businessman Tim Murray will contest it for Labor.

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China officially bans ABC website, claims internet is ‘fully open’

The ABC’s website and apps are usually accessible to Chinese web users and are not subject to the “Great Firewall” of censorship, but access was abruptly stopped on August 22.

After repeated requests for clarification, an official from the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission dictated a statement to the ABC:

“China’s internet is fully open. We welcome internet enterprises from all over the world to provide good information to the netizens of China.”

“However, state cyber sovereignty rights shall be maintained towards some overseas websites violating China’s laws and regulations, spreading rumours, pornographic information, gambling, violent terrorism and some other illegal harmful information which will endanger state security and damage national pride.”

The official, who declined to provide his name, said government departments, “have the right to take technical measures to block dissemination”.

Officials at two separate Chinese government departments have declined to specify how the ABC allegedly violated Chinese laws or cite any content as an example.

Access to other Australian news websites inside China, including those of Fairfax, News Limited and SBS, appears not to have been affected.

Diplomats at the Australian embassy in Beijing are aware of what they have described as “current difficulties” in accessing the ABC website in China, but DFAT has declined to comment further.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested the ban was a matter for Beijing, outside of the Federal Government’s control.

“The ABC is funded to broadcast in Australia, so we’re in control of that,” Mr Morrison told Melbourne radio station 3AW.

“China’s a sovereign country, they make decisions about what happens there, we make decisions about what happens here.”

 

This daily news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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