Some soft cheeses are now off the menu because health authorities found they were the source of a dangerous outbreak of the listeria bacteria.
Authorities moved quickly to remove the suspect cheeses from supermarket shelves as a safeguard to public health until the manufacturer can fix the problem which has contaminated the popular product.
A day earlier paramedics from Tamworth saved the life of a 20-year-old Gunnedah man James Traynor who was clinically dead after smoking synthetic cannabis. He was rushed to Tamworth hospital were he received further treatment. The man has made a complete recovery, described by doctors as a miracle.
So far this week three people have received treatment at one Hunter hospital for the ill-effects of synthetic cannabis. The list of casualties who have been hospitalised is believed to be much higher.
The number of serious cases which have resulted in hospitalisation is increasing by the week. Tamworth has had other episodes.
In October last year a 44-year-old truck driver bought synthetic cocaine in the Hunter Valley. After using it he went on a naked psychotic rampage in Newcastle and died two days later.
Doctors and paramedics who are treating those who have ingested synthetic drugs talk about the serious physical and mental consequences.
Synthetic cannabis is purchased openly and legally from retail outlets. Some outlets promote it as “legal weed”. Some users see it as a “safe” alternative to illicit drugs. It is obviously very dangerous and it is freely available.
Why then have the authorities not acted to remove these hazardous products from sale? With their appalling track record why do they remain on the market?
Last year, the Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries highlighted the dangers of these drugs. Why has the government not acted to make the synthetic drugs illegal and to ban their sale to safeguard public health?
James Traynor has moved from being a synthetic cannabis user to a campaigner to have it removed from sale.
It is important contaminated food is removed from sale. But it is also important that these synthetic substances, which are contaminated with unknown ingredients, are also taken off the shelves.
Why is the government having so much trouble distinguishing between the serious health consequences of bad cheese and dangerous drugs?