• Make Radio NZ an election issue

    Make Radio NZ an election issue

    Conservative governments all over the world seem to dislike public service broadcasting. George Bush targeted public service broadcasting; John Howard made attacking the Australian Broadcasting Corporation a regular sport, and now Tony Abbott has launched an all-out assault on the ABC, accusing it of being unpatriotic, and threatening to cut its funding.

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  • Time to swallow hard truth on mercury

    Time to swallow hard truth on mercury

    Looking back, the once common practice of painting lead on to women's faces to lighten their skin seems bizarre. I suspect future generations will also consider it bizarre that for more than a century we routinely put mercury amalgam fillings into our teeth. Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal - more toxic than lead and arsenic. It's also a potent neurotoxin and cell toxin, and even minute amounts of mercury pose a significant risk to our nervous, respiratory and immune systems.

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  • Supermarket spotlight overdue

    Supermarket spotlight overdue

    I'm delighted that Labour MP Shane Jones has shone the spotlight on supermarket tactics in New Zealand. And I'm pleased, too, that the Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss, has raised it with the Commerce Commission, as there's really no other way of establishing if the claims are true, as trading relations between supermarkets and their suppliers are intensely secretive, and suppliers are unwilling to blow the whistle for fear of losing their business and access to the marketplace.

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  • Let's turn up the heat on trans fats

    Let's turn up the heat on trans fats

    I wonder how long it will be before our Government removes a completely unnecessary, artificial, industrial product from our food supply that is a powerful promoter of heart disease. Most doctors and public health professionals agree that artificially produced trans fats, still widely used in food, increase our risk of coronary heart disease. Like saturated fats, trans fats raise our levels of "bad" cholesterol. But they also lower our "good" cholesterol that protects against heart disease, and that's why they are considered to be worse than saturated fats for our health.

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