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‘Cut them up, but don’t cut out the farmer’: Standing by our strawberry farmers

Luke Grant

New laws were rushed through federal parliament yesterday,  in a bid to combat the strawberry sabotage scandal.

Police are currently investigating more than 100 reports of needle contamination in Australian strawberries, with many suspected to be fabricated or copycat cases. Despite the confirmed falsity of some reports, it seems the public has become paranoid, with farmers forced to dump up to $10,000 worth of strawberries a day.

New legislation will see anyone caught food tampering face up to fifteen years behind bars.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the clampdown should worry the culprits behind the saga.

“Scott Morrison stamped his authority this week with this sensible move,” he says.

“The penalties are good and needed. The warning is out there. If you do these idiotic things and you get caught, you’re going to spend a lot of time in jail.”

McCormack is encouraging Australians to throw their support behind our farmers by continuing to buy punnets, with a proliferation of strawberry recipes being passed around to help consumers find creative ways to use the produce.

“Those blokes and women who grow the strawberries, they’re doing it tough. They’re having to dump fruit because of the actions of copycat idiots.”

“So our message is cut them up, but don’t cut the farmer out.”

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Luke Grant