Fonterra adds expertise to inquiry panel

15/08/2013

Fonterra has added more expertise to the panel inquiring in to the contaminated whey protein concentrate.

An independent inquiry into the circumstances of quality issues with a whey protein concentrate (WPC80), announced by Fonterra’s Board early this week, is now underway.

Inquiry Chairman and Fonterra Independent Director Sir Ralph Norris said the first Inquiry Committee meeting held yesterday had confirmed terms of reference for the Inquiry and noted the appointment by the Fonterra Board of a further independent member – Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland – who will join the Committee, effective immediately.

“Professor McCutcheon is a respected New Zealander whose independence, strong credentials as a scientist, and governance experience will further ensure the Inquiry is conducted at the right level and addresses the right questions without fear or favour,” Sir Ralph said.

Professor McCutcheon holds a PhD, has completed post-doctoral work as a Harkness fellow at Cornell University and published extensively in the fields of endocrinology and metabolic physiology. He is a previous Director of the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute, the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and is presently Chair of the Universities New Zealand Research Committee.

Professor McCutcheon joins retired High Court Judge Dame Judith Potter as the two independent members on the committee, alongside five Fonterra Directors, and Chapman Tripp QC, Jack Hodder, who is undertaking a review of events for the committee.

To assist with technical aspects of this review the WPC80 Inquiry Committee has also confirmed the appointment of an international expert on the manufacturing and safety of foods and food components. He is Jacob Heida, an expert in whey production processes and standards for infant food ingredients and current member of the Disciplinary Committee of the Netherlands Controlling Authority for Milk and Milk Products. . .

This is a high-powered and well qualified group and it needs to be to reassure shareholders, customers and the public.

The inquiry is expected to take about six weeks.


Word of the day

15/08/2013

Slangwhanger – one who verbally attacks others; one who uses abusive slang; a ranting partisan; a newspaper columnist who was free to express personal opinions; political orator; bar-room pundit; hell-fire preacher;  bullying court lawyer.


Rural round-up

15/08/2013

What Fonterra critics can learn from Sir Henry – Willy Leferink:

In the space of a few days farmers went from the heights of Mt Everest to the bottom of the Marianna Trench. That is what it seemed lurching from the fantastic payout forecast into Fonterra’s product recall.

We now know that a product, worth a few hundred thousand dollars, will likely end up costing Fonterra tens of millions. That is what CEO Theo Spierings told TVNZ’s Q+A on Sunday and will likely be customer claims relating to the recall. Fonterra’s recall was a shock and we absolutely must do the right thing by our customers and consumers. That is not in question. But if you were a consumer abroad and went off the New Zealand media coverage, you would have thought that Fonterra was some corporate version of Sweeney Todd.

In my years of farming, I have come to learn that things are never as good or as bad as they first seem, they are just what they are.

I do not think that Fonterra has done everything right but there’s a huge ‘damned if you do, dammed if you don’t’ reality when facing some feral media. Especially when the most feral are those in our own backyard. As the days went on the initial fever pitch whipped up was slowly replaced with a growing sense of perspective; testing had led to a precautionary recall. . . .

We must prove to customers that our high standards are more than words. Critical self-examination and then action, will go a long, long way – Bruce Wills:

. . . Last Thursday there was celebration that the 2013/14 forecast payout would clear overdrafts built up over the drought.

Then came news Clostridium botulinum had been found in the whey protein concentrate, WPC80.

I sense we may just be getting through the worst of this initial crisis.

Yet one unsanitary pipe at Fonterra’s Hautapu factory must not be allowed to define 120-year’s worth of hard work. . . .

Fonterra food scare claims scalp of NZ Milk Gary Romano:

Fonterra Cooperative Group’s tainted food scare has claimed its first scalp with the resignation of NZ Milk Products managing director Gary Romano.

Romano, who initially fronted for Fonterra to New Zealand media while chief executive Theo Spierings went to China, has resigned effective immediately, the dairy company said in a statement. Spierings will personally assume interim responsibility for the daily operations of NZ Milk, which collects milk from New Zealand farmers and manufacturers it into dairy products ready for export.

Romano’s focus was “to drive profitability through a customer-centric approach to business that delivers world-class standards in productivity, quality, safety and service,” Fonterra said on its website . . .

Fisherman’s new net may save young fish – Michael Morrah:

A commercial fisherman in Napier has taken the unusual step of speaking out about wasteful practices in the industry. Rick Burch says he’s sick of needlessly killing juvenile fish, and has developed a type of net he thinks can help.

Mr Burch is the first to admit that he’s seen a lot of waste since first taking to the water in the 1960s.

“You step back and say, ‘Do I really need to continue killing everything in the ocean?'”

But he says making just small alterations to the standard pattern of a fishing net would save fuel and help release young round fish like gurnard. . .

Mild Winter Leads To Early Spring:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 82 more farm sales (+23.0%) for the three months ended July 2013 than for the three months ended July 2012. Overall, there were 438 farm sales in the three months to end of July 2013, compared to 474 farm sales for the three months ended June 2013 (-7.6%). 1,536 farms were sold in the year to July 2013, 6.7% more than were sold in the year to July 2012.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to July 2013 was $20,667; a 15.1% increase on the $17,955 recorded for three months ended July 2012. The median price per hectare rose 4.8% compared to June. . .

Introducing The Collective’s Limited Edition Kiwi Gourmet Probiotic Yoghurt:

Kiwifruit, fresh and furry, this vibrant wee fruit is irrevocably Kiwi, to the core. And now, partnered with its best-ever comrade – The Collective’s signature gourmet yoghurt, the ever-vibrant kiwi begs the question; who needs wings when you’ve got ridiculously tasty New Zealand dairy?

Never being ones to disappoint we can tell you that the first taste of The Collective’s Kiwi will have your taste-buds tingling for more… a huge dash of national pride and a pairing of delicious dairy and kiwifruit, this gourmet treat might as well be called New Zealand in a tub… no bull! . . .


Thursday’s quiz

15/08/2013

It’s another busy week and you did such a good job of providing the questions last Thursday, I’m prevailing upon you to do it again.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win an electronic bunch of daffodils.


Poverty doesn’t cause abuse

15/08/2013

The first topic of discussion on Afternoon’s Panel on Tuesday was Paula Bennett’s proposals for countering the scourge of child abuse.

One of the panelists, Gary McCormick, asserted that the root cause of the problem was poverty (starting at about 9:01).

Host Jim Mora said there was disagreement about the extent to which poverty is related to child abuse.

McCormick disagreed.

Guest Anthea Simcock from Child Matters then came on (about 12 minutes) and said while poverty was related to the issues it was not the primary cause and child abuse wouldn’t be fixed by fixing poverty alone.

McCormick came back in (13:56) and told her she was wrong and poverty was the cause of the problems.

She countered that by saying it was a co-existing factor but not a causal one.

He came back and eventually said he refused to believe what she was saying.

This is a prime example of someone not letting the facts getting in the way of their convictions and he’s not the only one.

Lindsay Mitchell blogs:

John Minto says that Labour needs “a kick up the backside” for not pushing the message that poverty is the “key factor” behind child abuse.

He says there are NEVER any excuses for child abuse but there are REASONS behind it.

Unfortunately reasons becomes excuses very easily.

Can I take you back to just a couple of things that people like John Minto ignore.

Child abuse rates are not high amongst all groups with high poverty rates. In fact they are lower amongst poor Asians.

Household incomes of Maori and Pacific families are growing faster than the median, yet the rate of Maori child abuse is not declining. . .

Poverty is a problem but a lot of very poor people love and care for their children and some who aren’t poor abuse them.

The problems of poverty and child abuse both need to be addressed but it is wrong to assert that solving the former will solve the latter.


AgResearch’s purpose is ag research

15/08/2013

Delegates to a southern summit in Dunedin yesterday were united in their call for more investment in Invermay agricultural research centre.

And the message would be delivered in person to government ministers and the AgResearch board by a southern delegation within days, Mayor Dave Cull said yesterday.

His comments followed yesterday’s AgResearch-Invermay summit in Dunedin, which drew more than 50 delegates from organisations across the lower South Island.

The delegates spent much of the day discussing ways to save Invermay and boost the regional economy, before emerging with an action plan that was big on potential but light on detail.

The ”alternative proposition” would be for more investment to expand Invermay, while emphasising the national, as well as regional, economic benefits that would result, he said. . .

AgResearch’s purpose isn’t to provide economic benefits from its location,

It’s purpose is to do agricultural research.

. . . There was also agreement about the threats posed by AgResearch’s plan to shift 85 Invermay jobs to either Lincoln or Palmerston North.

Environment Southland chairwoman Ali Timms said that included Invermay’s ”vital” research into improving water quality in Southland as land-use patterns continued to intensify.

She told delegates the Southland environment was ”very different” from Canterbury’s, and Invermay’s research needed to occur in southern conditions and be presented ”first-hand” to farmers to change habits.

”That won’t happen in Canterbury. It won’t happen in Massey University. That science needs to happen in Southland.” . . .

This is a valid argument, but AgResearch’s plan is not to close the research centre completely and it is possible that those who remain could still do this work.

Agricultural research can and does result in economic benefits at local, regional and national levels.

But it should be done where it is done best with the best use of limited money.

Whether or not that is at Invermay as it is, as a smaller centre or as a bigger one is debatable.

Morale has been low for years with scientists complaining they spend more time applying for funds than doing science.

That feeling probably isn’t peculiar to Invermay, or agricultural research but it reinforces the importance of making best use of what money AgResearch has.

As for regional development, the southern leaders should be looking inland to Queenstown where the winter games are taking place and will pump millions of dollars into the economy.

Games chief executive Arthur Klap said . . .  ”there is a direct economic flow of somewhere between $3 million to $5 million” and on top of that the games spends around $3 million on organisation such as wages, stages and local bands.

”Fifty percent of our budget is locally spent.”

A key economic benefit of the games, he said, was that they attracted a large number of international athletes and their management, meaning ”it’s new dollars into the country”.

This year the games was investing $1 million in television coverage.

Thirty-eight broadcasters in more than 100 countries would be screening events. . .

Whether or not the delegation will alter the decision to reduce the Invermay workforce, southern leaders need to be looking to a range of opportunities for economic development.

Those in local government must also look at themselves to ensure they are doing all they can to reduce the costs of setting up and growing businesses.


GSCB Bill explained

15/08/2013

In between interruptions and attempted justifications from John Campbell, Prime Minister John Key explained the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Amendment Bill.

Do people care?

“We got 124 submissions on the GCSB bill, and 30,000 on snapper,” he says.

Mr Key says he spends a lot of time touring the country, but the GCSB bill is not a topic that comes up in his discussions.

“People do not raise GCSB. I have public meetings, I have question sessions at everything I do. I probably have half a dozen meetings a day with public engaging with people…People don’t raise this issue,” he tells Campbell Live. . .

Whether or not people care, doesn’t change the facts:

*  The GCSB will need to obtain a warrant from the Commissioner of High Security Warrants – a retired court judge appointed by Mr Key.

* The surveillance of] Kim Dotcom was illegal under the old law and it’s illegal under the new law.

* Mr Key says some discussion around the bill has been misrepresented, and the organisation will not be able to spy on New Zealanders.

* the original problems with the GCSB stem from a section passed by the Labour Government in 2003.

Another couple of points from the video (at about 18:15)
* The only legal things they [GCSB] can do is provide assistance, and they do that about nine times a year.
* Anything else they might do in cyber searches would require a warrant, they wouldn’t have access to content and it would be a bit like virus protection.
Some other points not covered in the interview:

The Bill clarifies the law that the GCSB operates under.

* The GCSB had been assisting other agencies like the NZSIS, Defence and Police for years, under the previous Labour Government as well as under the National-led Government. The Labour administration knew about this activity and signed off on it.

* The GCSB believed that it was operating within the law at all times, but it is now clear that there are difficulties in interpretation in the law.

* The Prime Minister is responsible for for national security and takes it seriously. That’s why the Government is moving to clarify the law so that it is legally clear the GCSB can assist other agencies, as it has done for years.

This Bill won’t change what can be done, the SIS can do anything the Bill would permit the GCSB to do.

This isn’t a debate about whether a particular New Zealander will have intelligence gathered about them and about their activities.

It will happen with appropriate oversight and safeguards.

The question is whether the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) does it, or if GCSB does it under a warrant gained by the SIS.

The GCSB has the capability to do it now, the SIS doesn’t. If the Bill isn’t enacted what would have been done by the GCSB will be done by the SIS, more expensively.

I thought the Prime Minister won the debate, so did Gravedodger who reviews the interview here.

But it’s not only those of us in the blue corner who weren’t impressed with the interviewing.

Whaleoil found this on Twitter:

@JohnJCampbell Raving is not interviewing, John. A graceless and embarrassing performance. This from your greatest fan. Brian

 

 

 

 


August 15 in history

15/08/2013

778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland was killed.

927 The Saracens conquered and destroy Taranto.

982  Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna.

1018 Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles blinded and captured Ibatzes of Bulgaria by a ruse, ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II’s conquest of Bulgaria.

1040  King Duncan I was killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth.

1057  King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.

1185  The cave city of Vardzia was consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.

1248  The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.

1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor.

1309  The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes.

1461 The Empire of Trebizond surrendered to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II – regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David was exiled.

1534 Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates took initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.

1599  Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambushed English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1760  Seven Years’ War: Battle of Liegnitz – Frederick the Great’s victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.

1769  Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was born (d. 1821).

1771  Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet, was born (d. 1832).

1824 Freed American slaves founded Liberia.

1843  The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii was dedicated.

1843  Tivoli Gardens amusement park  opened in Copenhagen.

1869  Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, was born (d. 1941).

1863 The Anglo-Satsuma War began between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom.

1875 Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, English composer, was born (d. 1912).

1893 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, was born (d. 1950).

1907 Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.

1909  A group of mid-level Greek Army officers launched the Goudi coup, seeking wide-ranging reforms.

1912  Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)

1912 – Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003).

1914  Julian Carlton, servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, set fire to the living quarters of the architect’s home, Taliesin, and  mudered seven people.

1914 The Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.

1924 Robert Bolt, English playwright and screenwriter, was born (d. 1995).

1935 Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed after their aircraft develops engine problems during takeoff.

1939  13 Stukas dived into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer.

1940  An Italian submarine torpedoed and sank the Greek cruiser Elli at Tinos harbour, marking the most serious Italian provocation prior to the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in October.

1941  Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason.

1942  Operation Pedestal – The SS Ohio reached the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.

1944 : Operation Dragoon – Allied forces landed in southern France.

1945  Victory over Japan Day – Japan surrendered.

In New Zealand VJ Day was celebrated. Sirens immediately sounded, a national ceremony was held, and the local celebrations followed.

The war is over!  VJ Day

1945 – World War II: Korean Liberation Day.

1947  India gained independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth.

1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.

1948 The Republic of Korea was established south of the 38th parallel north.

1950 Princess Anne, Princess Royal, was born.

1951 The troop ship Wahine  was wrecked en route to the Korean War.

Troop ship Wahine wrecked en route to Korean War

1954 Stieg Larsson, Swedish writer, was born (d. 2004).

1954 Alfredo Stroessner began his dictatorship in Paraguay.

1952 A flashflood in Lynmouth,Devon, killed 34 people.

1960  Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.

1961Conrad Schumann fled from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.

1962  James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after running across the Korean DMZ.

1963 Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.

1963  President Fulbert Youlou was overthrown in the Republic of Congo, after a three-day uprising in the capital.

1965 – The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, in an event later seen as marking the birth of stadium rock.

1968  40,000 people protested in Mexico City against repression.

1969 The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opened.

1971  President Richard Nixon completed the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.

1972 Ben Affleck, American actor, was born.

1973 Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ended.

1974  Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea, was killed during an apparent assassination attempt on President Park Chung-hee.

1975  Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and most members of his family were killed during a military coup.

1975 Miki Takeo made the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.

1977  The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University received a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.

1984 The PKK in Turkey started a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military

1998  Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles.

1999  Beni Ounif massacre in Algeria; some 29 people were killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border.

2007  An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastated Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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