What’s Good for the Goose …

For more than twenty years the Country Women’s Association of NSW has lobbied against the importation of foods and to improve biosecurity laws and systems so that our fruit and vegetable industries are protected and the possibility of food contamination reduced.

Constant assurances have been given over that time that the processes in place were adequate.1-cup-frozen-berries[1]

If that is the case, how do we now find ourselves at risk of contracting Hepatitis A from contaminated fruit imported from overseas?

The Department of Agriculture operates a risk-based border inspection scheme to monitor importers’ compliance with sourcing food that meets Australia’s food standards.

According to the Departments “Imported Food Inspection Data” report for January – June 2014 horticulture, which includes fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, was the second highest single commodity (after seafood) requiring inspection. However fruit was only tested as a ‘surveillance food’ for pesticides using electronic profiles.

Clearly not a good enough system, especially when our local growers are subject to such high standards.

Where will you now buy your fruit and vegetables?



More than Tea and Scones

Each year members of CWA of NSW raise money for a specific medical research project.

On average over $30,000 is raised annually for research that attracts little or no government funding but which helps find answers for sufferers of chronic and debilitating conditions.

At present we are supporting Crohn’s & Colitis Australia and I asked if they would provide a brief summary of the work they do and how our donations have been used so far. It is reprinted below.

CCA Logo high quality jpeg (2)Crohn’s & Colitis Australia – recipients of the CWA of NSW Medical Research Fund Cheque 2014

Thank you so much to the Country Women’s Association of NSW for nominating Crohn’s & Colitis Australia as the beneficiary of your fund raising for the last 12 months.

For those who may not be aware, Crohn’s disease and colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases or (IBD) that affect over 75,000 Australians. It’s very much a young person’s disease normally diagnosed between the ages of 15 – 35. However, we know that children much younger than that are being diagnosed.

The number of people with an IBD in Australia is predicted to rise to over 100,000 by the end of the decade which means that we will have one of the highest prevalences in the world.

People with IBD live with a chronic illness that baffles the experts as to why we get it in the first place and what we need to do to cure it.

Until we find a cure, the best we can do is to treat the pain, the bleeding, fatigue, the weight loss and the crippling diarrhoea that characterise these life-long incurable diseases.

The funds raised by the CWA of NSW last year were allocated to two research projects:

The POCER Study and the Angela McAvoy Fellowship.

The POCER study has won a number of international awards for its ground breaking research which has found ways to significantly reduce surgeries in Crohn’s patients and keep people disease free for extended periods of time.

The Angela McAvoy Fellowship is researching the influence of diet and fat cells in causing inflammation, and is identifying ways to reduce inflammation in the bowel through diet. This research is being undertaken at the Monash Medical Centre.

The funds raised this year will again go towards research to continue funding projects that are leading the way in IBD research.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, and the team at CCA I want to extend a very warm thank you for your support and this incredible contribution to our work.

Lauren Mann
Fundraising & Events Coordinator


Love Pink and Purple

mammogrambutterfliesI’ve just arrived home from Narrabri and a visit with the girls in the big pink and purple mobile van for the bi-annual squishing of the mammary glands, aka regular mammogram screening.

Whilst the staff and technicians are always very professional and friendly I can’t help feeling that the man, or in most cases thank goodness, woman handling of my normally well hidden parts in the fashion they need to be, is like throwing a rather thick steak on the George Foreman and exerting pressure on the top section to ensure the grill lines on your sirloin are uniform and it all looks decorative on the plate!

Only trouble is; this plate is usually rather chilly which I guess is preferable to a sizzling hot griddle and thankfully modern technology means the whole process doesn’t take nearly as long as it used to, nor does it seem as painful. I commented on this last observation to my friendly radiologist/ radiographer who replied that as we get older there’s less sensitivity which equates to less pain. Outwardly I say “WOO HOO! BONUS”! Sub-consciously I’m thinking, “BUGGER”! something else that’s of no use any more!

As I stand there wishing I’d paid more attention to the exercises that firm and tone everything and vowing to be at least taut, if not trim by the next time…, I contemplate the usefulness of a hospital gown or some other open fronted top that would at least provide me with some modicum of cover in between the lifting, pushing, pulling and squishing.

Obediently I press my cheek into the appropriate place on the machine and grasp the bar on the back, stretch just enough to look at the identified object on the wall but at the same time keeping my feet flat on the floor, breathing gently (!) and my spare hand on a hip, but not in such a fashion that it pokes the tech as she changes the angle for the next photo shoot.

In no time of course it’s over and with my clothes and confidence returned I thank the friendly staff and depart the pink and purple mobile unit contemplating the thousands of lives that have been saved by this wonderful service that comes (almost) to my door.

How long since your last visit?