Wednesday, 18th May 2016Independent testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth US has found risky nanoparticles deemed unsafe for use in toothpaste in baby formula. Six samples of baby formula made by Gerber®, Enfamil®, Similac® and Well Beginnings™ - which are all available online in Australia - were tested. Four of the samples contained nanoparticles of hydroxyapatite. Furthermore, 100 per cent of the hydroxyapatite particles in the samples were nano - demonstrating conclusively that they were intentionally produced (1).The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded that the needle-like form of nano-hydroxyapatite found in Gerber® Good Start Gentle®, Well Beginnings™ Advantage®, and Enfamil® formulas, which is similar in shape to asbestos, is potentially toxic and should not be used in toothpastes, tooth whiteners and mouth washes.
Key Australian environment groups today called on the Federal Environment Minister, Mr Greg Hunt, to reject recommendations of a report of an inquiry into the charitable status of environment groups. The CEOs of WWF, The Australian Conservation Society, The Wilderness Society, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Friends of the Earth and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW issued the following statement on behalf of the Places You Love alliance: The Report of the Inquiry into the Register of Environmental Organisations correctly recognises the enormous contribution environment groups have played in safeguarding Australia’s precious yet fragile environment, protecting icons from the Great Barrier Reef to the Franklin River. However, the report contains a number of deeply flawed and dangerous recommendations, including an arbitrary requirement to spend a quarter of donor funds on ‘environmental remediation’ and a draconian attempt to clamp down on the type of work organisations conduct.
The long awaited final report from the House of Representatives Inquiry into environmental organisations has now been released. Many in the community had anticipated that the report would recommend changes that would severely limit the activities of environmental groups. Sadly, this is the case. For background on this report and the political agenda against the environment movement, please check here. The report acknowledges that environment groups are doing an important and necessary job in protecting our precious environment. However, it contains a number of deeply flawed recommendations, which if implemented would profoundly change the environmental protection movement in Australia.
Anyone who had hoped that the Turnbull government would be significantly different to the Abbott government on environmental issues will be very disappointed by the 2016 budget. “Many people had hoped Prime Minister Turnbull would stare down the far Right elements of his government and deliver a fair and reasonable budget that offered meaningful action on the environment. But spending on the environment is forecast to fall by 17% by 2019-20. “Prime Minister Turnbull has missed the opportunity to deliver a budget worthy of the climate and environmental imperatives of the 21st century” said Cam Walker for Friends of the Earth Australia. “Instead he has opted to prop up greenhouse polluters and continue concessions that subsidise the mining and aviation sectors. This is money that would be better spent on education, health and the environment.”
Friends of the Earth Brisbane applauds the federal government decision to drop 5 sites, including one in Queensland, from its list of sites nominated to house national nuclear waste. We now call on the government to remove the final site, Barndioota station, in SA from consideration and to drop the flawed site selection process immediately. After announcing a list of 6 proposed sites in November, 2015, the federal government will reportedly announce that a site in South Australia is the only site short-listed to house a new national nuclear waste repository. The proposed site in Queensland, at OmanAma, near Inglewoood on the Darling Downs, and 4 other nominates sites in NSW, SA and NT are reported to have been dropped from the list.
Calls for international moratorium on underground coal gasification following immediate ban in Queensland, Australia
APRIL 18, 2016: Responding to the breaking news that the State Government of Queensland in Australia has just implemented an immediate ban on all underground coal gasification in that State, Chloe Aldenhoven, Coal and Gas Spokesperson for Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia said: "These kind of radical and dangerous mining techniques show the desperation of a fossil fuel industry going into decline. “We need an international moratorium on this madman technology before it inflicts any more damage on people and the environment." “As they anticipate the inevitable transition to renewable energy, mining companies are inflicting increasingly reckless and environmentally damaging mining techniques on communities.
Speaking tour on the climate change precipitated relocation of atoll peoples in Papua New Guinea, and the implications for climate justice in an Australian context The visiting speakers will be: Ursula Rakova, director of Tulele Peisa, the Carteret Islands relocation program in Bougainville Pais Taehu, Chairman of the Coalition of the Atolls – Temarai Association – comprising the four atoll groups within the Bougainville political boundary The tour, scheduled from 9 to 22 April, will include speaking events in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
The Nuclear Royal Commission continues its investigations and will hand down the final report in May. The Commission is looking into the risks and opportunities of furthering a nuclear industry here in SA including increased uranium mining, uranium enrichment, nuclear power and dumping international nuclear waste. Three sites in South Australia, two at Kimba and one in the Flinders Rangers have been shortlisted to become a national nuclear waste dump. South Australians have a long history of opposing waste dumps and have state legislation opposing it. We are working hard to have a voice in the debate and represent many South Australians who don't want us to go down the radioactive path.
Friends of the Earth International Press Release Auckland, New Zealand 4th February 2016, Today trade ministers from 12 countries party to the giant 'Trans Pacific Partnership' held a symbolic signing of a trade deal which sets the economic and pro corporate rules for 40 percent of the world economy. Friends of the Earth International warned that the 'Trans Pacific Partnership', or TPP, will threaten people and planet, if ratified. Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Friends of the Earth International Economic Justice Coordinator, said: “The TPP signing ceremony is nothing more than a photo opportunity to try and prop up this deeply unpopular and environmentally destructive deal. Trade ministers know that it will be very difficult to ratify the TPP in national parliaments, particularly in the US where all leading presidential candidates oppose it.”
Fires have raged across Tasmania since lightning strikes ignited more than 100 spot fires on January 13. Since that time, about 14,000 hectares of World Heritage Area forests and other vegetation have been incinerated, with almost 100,000 hectares of land burnt in total. Overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the fires, the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) initially – and understandably - concentrated on human assets like towns and infrastructure. As TFS workers fought a heroic campaign against fires that threatened communities, a series of wildfires burnt huge areas in the north-west and on the central plateau. It was the arrival of milder weather as well as additional fire-fighting crews from interstate in the second week, especially teams of remote area fire fighters, which allowed serious operations to occur to slow the fires in mountainous and forested regions.