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ethical_strength_main_listing“It was the best session on ethics I have ever seen.” 

“Ethics that could be understood, made tears come to more than one person’s eyes.” 

IOOF / LONSDALE Conference Perth

Some think ethical leaders are ‘warm and fuzzy’ people who debate hypothetical disputes in academia. But real ethical leaders are courageous people, living in the real world. They’re people who realise that just because “everyone does it” doesn’t make it right. They’re the ones who see a problem and challenge the status quo to fix it. Put simply. They change things. Which makes them your organisations most important people.

Ethical business culture does not begin and end with a code of ethics or a definition of ethics. Historically, corporations that collapse due to unethical behavior had ticked the ethics box, albeit in a tokenistic way. The fact is that employees in many businesses find themselves in legal and ethical minefields with no ethical decision making framework. This puts the employee and the business at risk. Tackling ethical issues requires a solid set of business values, principles and, as mentioned earlier, sometimes, a fair bit of courage too.

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Does this make the decision a bit clearer? is it worth the risk?

 

MY RECENT ARTICLES –

RISE OF ORGANISED CRIMES CHOP CHOP TOBACCO – Herald Sun writer S.J.Illingworth

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/crime-gangs-sense-profits-as-the-tobacco-price-rises/news-story/96fe599b77c575b430e874a2d54e19b7

A Time To Kill – Herald Sun writer S.J.Illingworth

link http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/law-order/true-crime-scene/melbournes-underworld-monday-nights-most-dangerous-time-for-marked-members/news-story/35d5d457211b42cea748d94284e3ea22

VIDEO: Australian Story ABC TV

link        http://www.abc.net.au/austory/content/2015/s4216730.htm

What I do.

Speeches, Training and Corporate Assistance .

A Selection of Recent Testimonials…

SOUTH EAST ASIA Financial Planning conference Fiji 

  •      Great Speaker.
  •      Excellent presentation
  •  Great insight and inspiration
  •  Scary. But great speaker
  •  One of the most thought provoking sessions I have ever attended
  •  Great speaker and amazing story.
  •      Very interesting and really enjoyable!!
  •  Just great
  •  Outstanding.
  •      We will all need courage to deal with the industry challenges
  •  A really great finish to a fantastic conference!
  •      Wow what a story.
  •      Just shows how in any situation you need to act ethically
  •  Exceptional presentation.
  •  Fabulous
  •  Fantastic!
  •  Thought provoking. Fantastic

IOOF / LONSDALE Conference Perth

  • It was such a great finish to the conference, and I think people were quite in awe of you and your story….“it was the best session on ethics I have ever seen” and “ethics that could be understood, made tears come to more than one person’s eyes.” 

TABCORP

  • Simon was outstanding.  I’m sure he’s had this feedback before but his quiet, understated style is a unique and powerful contrast to his core messages.  He had the audience fully engaged throughout his presentation.  His messages have stuck very firmly with the group and have been invaluable in our efforts to continue dialogue around our organisational culture. 
CARIBBEAN AML & FRAUD CONFERENCE
  • Simon commanded the audience with his ethics and culture presentation which touched every professional delegate and speaker at the conference including myself.  Mr Kem Warner (Director) 
WOOLWORTHS LTD
  • Brilliant. Best feature of the week. Very principled and purposeful… 
HESTA
  • Simon is an excellent guest speaker for conferences, management forums and training sessions  CEO, HESTA
Whatever the situation, ethical culture isn’t created by slapping up a code of of ethics, it takes on-going persistence. Focussing specifically on culture is good for everyone, and yes, the long term rewards can be lucrative.

Ethics Specialist Amongst Simon’s diverse qualifications is his selection for the Sir Vincent Fairfax ethics and leadership fellowship (1 of 14 Australians chosen in 2002). Simon has investigated and debated some of the world’s hardest ethical dilemmas, ethics theory and ancient philosophy.He was also awarded the prestigious AusDavos Future Summit Award which brings leaders together annually to map out Australia’s future.

Speeches and Training Simon is presently one of the most sought after corporate speakers and trainers in Australia, he uses his experiences and expertise to motivate, challenge and build organisational culture. He has the capacity to switch people back on. Simon’s clients include some of Australia’s largest corporations, sportsclubs, media outlets and schools. If you need a speech or workshop that cuts through and sticks – you need one from a person who’s been in the trenches.

Ethics, Leadership and decision making programs Programs are made to order.  Ethical Strength has built a network of carefully selected consultants and experts over 10 years. Ethical Strength is also an associate of the Mettle Group and Morgan Productions.

BLOG… Ethical Brain Tester: What should he / she do? “I work for a multi-national company based off shore, I constantly juggle two cultures, the Australian way and the other country’s way. One country calls it a bribe, the other calls it a fee. This is a quarter billion dollar contract. The so-called “fee” in comparison is loose change. What should I do?* *This question is real, it is also a very common dilemma for employees of  large corporations.  The details of the question have been altered to protect the client. It is my job to work through this type of dilemma with the client to achieve a satisfactory outcome for the employee and the corporation in the long and short term.

LATEST MEDIA INTERVIEW ABC RADIO NATIONAL http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/victoria-police-to-weed-out-bikie-gang-influence/4598682

If TRUST is important to you and your business – read this blog of my meeting with an international money launderer. I met Kenneth Rijock in the hotel lobby as we checked in for our presentations for the Caribbean Fraud and Anti-Money Laundering conference; Just to get to Antigua takes four connecting flights, so I carried the bare minimum luggage. Ken took ‘travelling light’ to another level; he had a plastic bag that I assumed held nothing but a pair of underpants, a toothbrush and a tie for tomorrows conference. A risk taker. Rijock is low profile, with a warm demeanor that is likeable and relaxed.

Like most international successful fraudsters Rijock is a welcoming person. But he’s turned his hand away from crime these days. In fact he’s one of us now, a good guy. Rijock’s expertise stems from being a Miami based lawyer who’d laundered $200 million USD for Cuban and Columbian drug lords in the 1980’s. That’s his claim to fame; he’s a former international crook whose dominant skill is his rat-cunning.

Rijock’s skills are in select company, notably that of the other US born confidence trickster, cheque forger, impostor, and escape artist Frank Abagnale of the movie, ‘Catch me if you can’ fame although Abagnale only got away with $2.5 million. Rijock and Abagnale had long terms of imprisonment cut short when they agreed to assist the FBI and other US authorities to learn ‘the craft’ as Rijock calls it.

And clearly, these men have a commodity to sell as I found during his presentation. First, Rijock warns, ‘Beware of internet ghosts’ (a person with no internet history). “If you Google search a legitimate business person they’ll have an internet history, whether it’s a charity, school or business event they will come up.”

Fraudsters can create new identities using forged documents but they can’t build an internet history; that takes time. Many organised crime groups use ‘clean skin’ friends to open accounts for them. To counter this, Rijock suggests using Google images; this is a simple search that displays internet pictures of the person searched for. “You’re not looking for a photo of the potential client per say but more importantly, to see who they’ve been photographed with”. Like the photo Rijock found of a potential client with his arm around a US crime boss; that internet photo saved a bank.

Rijock also says that criminal organisations targeting banks and businesses don’t stop after one attempt, they’ll try the front door, then the side door and so on; “That being the case it’s imperative not to explain how their attempts fail; you don’t want to educate them for their second and any subsequent attempts.”

Rijock finished explaining his past; laundering money for evil Columbian drug lords, whose trade kills people worldwide. But he didn’t describe it like that, he called it ‘the craft’; in a  ‘clever’ kind of way that I thought, lacked remorse. Dr Alden Cass the Psychologist to Wall Street, then presented the ‘Psychology of a white collar criminal’. He might as well have described Kenneth Rijock. You can’t just shrug off your DNA I thought. “Ken’s a nice guy. You have no idea how a famous ex-money launderer gives us a good rep’ in business… ” Ken’s colleague told me in his American accent. “But what about the risk he’ll return to his old tricks?” I asked. “Nah… (thoughtful pause)… but recently I saw him driving a new Bentley.” (laughs) “Gee, how can he afford that?” I enquired. “I don’t know… I was wondering the same thing.” He said.

Whilst that conversation was in jest. That’s the problem for any reformed craftsman. Trust is an issue, and, just like a legitimate internet history, it takes time to create it. But, even for a cynical ex-detective, I have to say Ken has won me over. Rijock has spent the last 21 years, since his release from prison in anti-money laundering pursuits, including concentrating during the 1990s as a lecturer, expert witness, and adviser to law enforcement, government and intelligence services in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Ken’s even worked undercover for US law enforcement, recreating his old role as a laundryman, to sting narcotics traffickers, at a substantial personal risk to himself. Rijock has written over 5000 financial crime analysis articles, which are all available at no cost, on the World-Check website. He appears at over 30 conferences a year, and has  presented on every continent on a regular basis. That is unique,  post-conviction activity of any individual. Ken may not show remorse when he tells his personal story, but as one of the US Marshals observed prior to Rijocks guilty plea, and acceptance of responsibility, the court system couldn’t do anything more to him, he’d committed a number of crimes, and he knew that it was wrong.

There are a few crims in Australia that could take a leaf out of Ken Rijock’s book. I’d like a ride in that Bentley one day.

Simon Illingworth

And now to the West Indies, Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering and Fraud Conference… Antigua (think West Indies) a beautiful place to have a holiday, but 40 hours of flying to do a presentation? The low down Money Laundering in the Caribbean region has figured prominently over the years. Primarily because narcotics traders from Columbia and Cuba have taken a particular liking to the wash, fold and iron of their $USD (if you know what I mean). Hence the AML and Fraud Conference organised by a bright spark, Mr Kem Warner. The event promised a lot, with Kem and the sponsors paying big sums to get the world’s best over there and it certainly paid off, so I’m confident the laundrymen are about to get the shock of their lives. I managed  to catch up with a few mates (other presenters).

Declan Hill is an Investigative Journo, Expert in Match Fixing and Author of ‘The Fix’ a World Best Seller. A very good book. Declan Hill gave me a solid run down on the new challenges of match fixing around the World and specifically in Australia. Sure enough, when I arrived back home Declan’s first ‘predication’ came true (Pakistan Cricket team was about to take a dive), no-ball, $$$ no-ball … $$$

ABOUT SIMON… As Melbourne’s gangland war gathered momentum during the late 1990s, another battle was being fought within the police force by one brave cop. Young detective sergeant Simon Illingworth had joined the force to serve the public and make a difference. His world was forever shattered when he confronted police corruption head-on. Watching Melbourne’s toughest killers working alongside his own colleagues made him sick to the guts. Simon soon discovered the price for standing up against them was death threats and isolation. A spate of events finally sent him to the point of no return. He was brutally bashed – not by crooks but other policemen from an entrenched corrupt brotherhood. A witness preparing to give court evidence against police was then found dead in an execution-style murder. And an underworld crim who was given Simon Illingworth’s address was caught in possession of eight guns, night vision goggles and a silencer.

Betrayed by the brotherhood, THE AGE, 28 May 2004 In May 2004, after 17 years in Victoria Police, Simon brought about culture change in Victoria Police after appearing on ABC TV’s Australian Story. Fearing for his life, this brave copper went public about the crisis facing the police force, in an episode of Australian Story that stopped the nation. He spoke honestly about Melbourne’s gangland killings and the corrupt police brotherhood that assisted and harboured them. Simon Illingworth left the police force after 4 years working with police internal affairs in Victoria, rooting out crooked officers. He now runs his own company, Ethical Strength, and is the recipient of a bravery award from the Governor of Victoria.

Other Awards Simon has received Royal Humane Society of Australasia Bravery Award

Sir Vincent Fairfax Fellow

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Certificate Leadership

Commendations Commendation for Bravery and Restraint

FOUNDER OF ETHICAL FARMING

Lastest media interview – Western Victoria and South East South Australia Rural Report: Monday 26th March 2012 – 26/03/2012

Our Happy Cow

WHY NOT ORGANIC? Organic farming isn’t a problem, I like the idea. It’s a good one. But, organic farming appears to have lost some control. In short it’s gone mainstream and lost it’s niche element. Like any industry that expands exponentially – problems arise and the checks and balances of who becomes an organic farmer and who doesn’t gets watered down and the policing of the rules doesn’t keep pace.
What we read of Organic farming these days is that there is evidence of rorts and deception, some organic farmers spray at night, some use chicken manure sourced from cage egg farms, some buy cage eggs and label them as organic or free range and so on (for more info. see articles below).
Generally, rorting happens when people don’t embrace the values and/or principles underpinning the rules; So what is the trigger to get non-believers to go organic? Organic food is richman’s tucker, which sounds harsh, but the fact remains that consumers pay more than triple for organic food. So, many organic farmers are only organic because there’s a buck in it. The’re riding on the back of good people who stick to the rules.
Why don’t we increase the penalties for rorting? Increasing the penalties for rorting doesn’t work because if the risk of being caught is minimal then greedy people will rort and decieve irrespective of the penalty. Most people think organic farming is unquestionably, morally right. But that is open to debate.
For every additional farm that doesn’t spray herbicides or pesticides (for example) reduces food yield.  This is occurring in a world that is already short of food.  We agree with Prof. Norman Borlaug who is quoted below. “While the affluent nations can certainly afford to adopt ultra low-risk positions, and pay more for food produced by the so-called “organic” methods, the one billion chronically undernourished people of the low income, food-deficit nations cannot.” Norman Borlaug Nobel Peace Prize Winner
The problem isn’t organic farming, its over population that is the problem. If and when we get our World’s population under control – I WILL ‘GO ORGANIC’. So what do we do in the meantime?
1. Find a system that farmers believe in and value,
2. Create a system that flexes with new technology and ideas, to increase productivity and yield, and
3. Increase the risk of detection for rorting.
Ethical Farming Model. Ethical farms do not have inflexible ‘etched in stone’ rules. Unlike organic farming, ethical farms weigh up the pros and cons of new technology and seek to constantly improve farming practices. We strive to achieve the greatest yield (crop size) that is sustainable for our lands long term prospects. We value transperancy – so we welcome questions about how we operate. Whilst we do not have specific farm sizes in mind, this model is best suited to small hobby farms and large family operated farms. Large corporate run farms are unlikely to be granted access to our farming model because of the transient nature of farm workers on these properties and a perceived lack of commitment from off-site operators.
Some of the dimensions we consider:
The Sunlight Test The sunlight test assumes our customers are watching how we grow our food. So, if we wouldn’t do it in front of you – We don’t do it.
Juggling the upside with the potential down side – Farming is a constant battle of changing parameters, severe weather, locust plagues, flood, drought etc. So tackling these challenges requires continual risk assessments. First, we ask ourselves; What are the options available to help fix this problem? Then we ask, Which option will create the most good (upside) with the least bad (downside)? Examples – When possible we use biodegradable sprays instead of using a tractor in eliminating weeds from our planting beds (tractors emit lasting amounts of co2 while our sprays are biodegradable). We often use local chicken manure or seaweed products for fertiliser instead of pelletised, environmentally unfriendly fertiliser that’s shipped in from China or Egyptian Phosphorous Rock (which is used in bio-dynamic farming) which, you guessed it, comes all the way from Egypt. But if it’s not viable we’ll use the pelletised fertilisers.
Philosophy 1. Human life is important to us. “We are 6.6 billion people now. We can only feed 4 billion. I don’t see 2 billion volunteers to disappear.”  This comment from Bourlag was in response to the fraction of the world population that could be fed if current farmland was convered to organic-only crops.
Whilst ethical farms happily cohabitate with organic farms, we believe that very few people have thought of the repercussions and negative impacts that organic farming is having on under developed nations.
Continual Improvement. Ethical farms seek to continually improve; we look to advance farming technology through information sharing and forums.  In simple terms that means we weigh up the pros and cons of a renewable energy use for example , but if it isn’t going to work we’ll use petrol until technology catches up. And when our animals get sick we’ll give them the care they require, when they require it. We don’t let our animals suffer. We use preventative natural remedies but, if that doesn’t work we’ll use the latest medicine prescribed by a vet.
The organic industry bans many veterinary medicines, which we believe, is cruel and unethical.  Note: There is a legal withholding period after medicines are administered to an animal. This ensures the animal is clear upon consumption.
We Promise to Speak the Truth. Ethical farms promise to speak the truth about how your food is grown from one season to another. That means, on occasion, we will tell you we’ve used a biodegradable spray. As previously mentioned we will not sit back and watch insects destroy entire crops when the world is short of food.
How far away was it grown? Food miles. Just because a product is organic doesn’t mean it hasn’t travelled 6,000 km from China in refrigeration before it gets to you.  Indeed, if our product matches your local product; buy local. We can live with that.
We are a mainstream, non radical concept. Being ethical farmers doesn’t mean we’re tree-huggers or vegetarians (though they are welcome as ethical farmers and we like people with strong views)  but we aren’t extremists. The extremist group PETA is not an ethical organisation for a range of reasons, none more so than, the fact that they disrespect females by stripping, they sell nude photos and one of their high profile members, Pamela Anderson, who had appeared on TV ads for KFC, later joined PETA and then slammed KFC treatment of animals as unethical. Ethical farmers weigh up the options, new technology and make decisions based on common sense (and occasionally eat KFC).
Incidentally, many intensive chicken farms say that chickens savagely peck each other if they are free to roam without constant supervision. There is, most certainly, stock losses at free to roam and organic chicken farms. There has to be, simply because they deny animals certain treatments that would be administered by a vet. Perhaps the middle ground would be better conditions, bigger pens and proper vet care. That is what we’re about – getting farming right.
Governance
Organic farming is governed by the organic accreditors whos’ very existence relies on fees from accreditted organic farms. So it is not in the interests of organic accreditors to deny a farms’ organic application nor is in their interests spending money on governance if the only feasible result is to discredit their own accreditation and /or to ban a farm that pays them money. On the other hand, ethical farmers are chosen for their good character, their commitment to the cause and their belief in the values and principles that underpin our model. Farmers can only join our model by being vouched for (recommended) by a current ethical farm member.
The members’ commitment to our principles and the ‘all-for-one and one-for-all’ communal ownership of our concept increases the risk of detection for the same rogue operators who have infultrated organic farming. Ethical farmers encourage transperancy and whistleblowing to keep the integrity of our concept intact.

Want to Join? We own the ethical farm idea, but we are willing to share it.  In the meantime if you want to join or you have a suggestion as to how we can improve our methodologies, feel free to email us. Simon Illingworth simon@ethicalstrength.com

A HANDFUL OF NEWS ARTICLES

Organic farms yield less produce

AFP | April 26, 2012

ORGANIC farming may yield up to a third less of some crop types.
This is according to a study proposing a hybrid with conventional agriculture as the best way to feed the world. Organic farming seeks to limit the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers, but critics suggest lower crop yields require bigger swathes of land for the same output as conventional farms. This would mean parts of forests and other natural areas being turned into farmland, undoing some of the environmental gains of organic tilling methods, they say. The new study by Canadian and American researchers, published in Nature on Wednesday, found that organic yields are indeed as much as 34 per cent lower for some crops – 25 per cent less overall. Fruit and oilseed were the best performers – yielding just three per cent less, in ideal farming conditions, than conventionally grown crops that benefit from chemical pest killers and nutrients, the researchers found. Organic farming of cereals and vegetables, however, yielded up to a third less produce. “Today’s organic systems may nearly rival conventional yields in some cases … but often they do not,” said the report. The findings contradict those of earlier studies that organic farming matched, or even exceeded, conventional yields. High agricultural productivity is becoming ever more important as the world’s population grows, and food demand with it. An international expert panel said last November that global food production must rise by up to 80 per cent by 2050. Study co-author Verena Seufert of McGill University in Montreal told AFP the findings pointed to a mix of organic and conventional farming for the future. “We identify, for example, legume crops and perennial crops as performing better in organic systems than annual and non-legume crops. We also see that organic systems do much better if the farmers apply good management practices,” such as crop rotation and effective pest and nutrient control. “We identify the situations where organic does well and we also identify the situations where it does not do so well, for example under irrigated conditions where the conventional yields can be just so high that organic agriculture can’t match these yields.” A single system of “either organic or conventional is much too simplistic,” said Seufert. “We should try to learn from those systems that perform well in terms of yield but also environmental performance and just adopt the systems in those places where they do well. “At the same time we need to address the problems that organic systems have shown.” The study also found that organic yields rose over time as soil fertility and management skills improved.

Organic myths.

by simon Illingworth I produce 4 ton of garlic, raise 200 calves, I have an aquaculture licence for trout and teach corporate ethics. I started farming five years ago and considered organic accreditation. It is one of the fastest growing industries in Australia and consumers pay up to triple for organic food. But scratching the surface I found the rules for organic farming to be inflexible to the point of being etched in stone and also kind of ‘hippy-like’ weird. Being an ex-detective, the facts interested me more than the continual spin thrown at me of ‘nature’s goodness and purity’. The fact is the health debate between traditionally grown food and organic is marginal to the point of irrelevant and a recent study found it tastes the same too. A farmer has to pay annually for organic accreditation too. The recipient of this money is also the token policing body ensuring organic farmers comply with the rules. A serious conflict of interest, with results to match. That sealed it for me. I went with traditional farming and made some rules based on ethics; and founded ethical farming. Five years later, the organic industry’s back is against the wall, with tests and studies clearly showing health benefits and taste claims are highly questionable. Now the organic industry is spinning the idea that organic farming is more ethical, suggesting traditional farmers aren’t. Is organic more ethical? Very few people know how draconian the organic rules are. Like the rule of not giving sick animals some veterinary treatments. What happens to them? Well, many die. For nothing.  Rich inner city hippies have led us to believe that organically farmed animals are always healthy and treated humanely and, on the flip side, that traditional farmers don’t care. If I was a dying animal requiring antibiotics I know which farm I’d prefer to be on. Farming technology has advanced in leaps and bounds, and many sprays are biodegradable and frog friendly amongst other things. What’s morally wrong or unethical with using them? The massively successful genetically modified ‘smart’ seed that helps feed millions of starving people overseas is also taboo to the organic religion; it’s not true seed.  I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be a true botanist to be ethical but you do need to value life. Is an organic China grown vegetable still organic after it has been refrigerated and transported 6000 km to your supermarket? You bet. But it’s hardly ethical buying considering the transport emissions. Yes, China’s chasing the organic dollar too. The lure of high returns tempts even the non-believing Australian farmer to go organic. But if that happens our Nations food yield will reduce further and someone somewhere in the World dies of starvation. The only way to avoid that is to turn some of the remaining old growth forests into farms to fill the food-void that organic farming is creating. Is any of that ethical? Ethical farmers weigh up situations with advances in technology; they’re flexible and consider how many people they can feed while balancing the long term health of their land. An ethical farmer won’t watch insects destroy acres of food when people are starving overseas. I’m not anti-organic, but the world won’t cope if organic farming goes mainstream. Simon Illingworth

Egg supplier fined over ‘free range’ claims

Leslie White | September 5, 2012 WEEKLY TIMES

AN egg supplier has been fined $50,000 after supplying bogus “free-range” eggs.
South Australian business Rosie’s Free Range Eggs sold more than 650,000 eggs to 109 retail outlets and businesses as if they were free-range. The cartons featured pictures of the owner surrounded by chickens labelled “Rosie’s Free Range Eggs”.
But a substantial proportion of the eggs had been substituted for cheaper cage eggs, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The Federal Court issued the fine for conduct from April 15, 2010 to October 2010. ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said the incident showed the ACCC would prosecute egg suppliers who “act unlawfully”. “The ACCC takes action in cases such as this to protect consumers and also to protect other egg suppliers who accurately label and supply eggs,” Ms Court said. The court ordered owner Rosemary Bruhn publish a corrective notice in The Advertiser newspaper and also send letters to affected suppliers telling them about the outcome of the court proceedings. Ms Bruhn will also have to pay the ACCC’s legal costs of $15,000.

The Telegraph London

Organic food is no better for you than the traditionally grown even though it  may taste better, say researchers. Despite the perception that organic food grown without artificial  fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals, is more pure, nutritious and  virtuous, scientists have said there is little evidence that it is  healthier.

There are no convincing differences between organic and conventional foods in  nutrient content or health-benefits

A review of 237 research studies into organic food found the products were 30  per cent less likely to contain pesticide residue than conventionally grown  fruit and vegetables but were not necessarily 100 per cent free of the  chemicals. They found no consistent differences in the vitamin content of  organic products.

There were higher levels of phosphorus in organically grown food but the  researchers said this was of little importance as so few people were deficient  in this. The only other significant finding was that some studies suggested  organic milk contained higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid, which is thought to  be important for brain development in infants and for cardiovascular health.
Dr Crystal Smith-Spangler, of Stanford’s Centre for Health Policy, said “we  were a little surprised” by the results but that people should eat more fruit  and vegetables, no matter how they are grown, because most Western diets are  deficient.

Dr Dena Bravata, a fellow researcher, said that, beyond their perceived  health benefits, people also bought organic products because of taste, concerns  about the effects of conventional farming practices on the environment and  animal welfare. The research was published in the Annals of Internal  Medicine journal. The group cited two studies comparing children consuming organic and  conventional diets, which found lower levels of pesticide residue in the urine  of children on organic diets, though the levels of pesticides in both groups of  children were below safety thresholds. Organic chicken and pork also appeared to reduce exposure to  antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but the researchers said the health implications  of this were not clear. The group said the research was difficult because of the  various ways organic food was tested, other factors that affect nutrient levels  such as soil and weather, and the effect that organic farming methods may  have. Prof Alan Dangour, a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and  Tropical Medicine, said the review showed that “there are no convincing  differences between organic and conventional foods in nutrient content or  health-benefits”. A spokesman for the Soil Association claimed that the method used by the  researchers was not suitable for comparing crops, while a previous study had  found that the differences in nutrients between organic and conventional produce  were “highly significant”. He said a Dutch study, mentioned in the review, found  that children aged two were 36 per cent less likely to develop eczema, if more  than 90 per cent of the dairy products they consumed were organic. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/cuisine/organic-food-what-you-need-to-know-20120904-25c09.html#ixzz25pvOi7Gx

Justice on organic fakes

Leslie White April 21, 2010

HEFTY prison sentences have been handed down to overseas businesses selling “fake” organic and free-range produce. The prosecutions and outcomes are the result of major investment in enforcement agencies, organic sources say.

  • Should Australia be tougher on organic certification breaches?
  • Have Your Say now in the form below

UK company Heart of England Eggs managing director Keith Owen was jailed for three years and ordered to pay 3.25 million ($5.4 million). The Worcester Crown Court found the Heart of England Eggs sold 100 million eggs from cage chickens as organic and free-range and sold imported eggs as British between 2004-06. Suspicions were raised when British egg industry figures pointed out there were more eggs being sold as organic and free-range than the country produced. Similar concerns have been raised in Australia. The free-range industry asserts that more than 30 million eggs a year sold as “free-range” are from either cage or barn chickens as there are not enough free-range chickens in Australia to lay the number of eggs labelled as such. US authorities have also been tough on fake organics. US company Sel-Cor Bean and Pea Inc owner Basilio Coronado was jailed for 24 months and ordered to pay more than $US500,000 ($540,500) after being convicted of fraudulently selling products as organic. He was also found to have made false statements regarding the status of his products. Mr Coronado was found to have sold 1.50 million kg of conventional milo (sorghum), 179,680kg of conventional pinto beans and 27,400kg of conventional garbanzo beans as organic. Organic Federation of Australia chairman Andre Leu said the prosecutions had followed considerable investment in enforcement agencies in those countries. “It’s well documented there are people who get ill from the smallest amount of pesticide residue – there is a health issue here,” Mr Leu said. “Our regulators don’t take that issue seriously even though there is good science to that effect.” Organic Food Chain director Ivy Inwood said the cases were in stark contrast to policing of “fake” organics in Australia. “Hopefully the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) are looking at it,” Mrs Inwood said.

other links: our garlic farm www.garlicworld.com.au

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