More than half of Aussie men report experiencing sexual difficulties

Many men were concerned about climaxing too quickly or lacking interest in sex.Krista MangulsoneOne in two Australian men aged 18 to 55 have experienced sexual difficulty in the past 12 months, accord...

Jennifer Power, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University - avatar Jennifer Power, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University

Sanders, Harris, Biden... can anyone beat Donald Trump to become the next US president?

No sooner had the US midterm elections for Congress concluded than jockeying began for the presidential elections in 2020. Barring either impeachment, which seems unlikely, or a health crisis, Donald ...

Dennis Altman, Professorial Fellow in Human Security, La Trobe University - avatar Dennis Altman, Professorial Fellow in Human Security, La Trobe University

As many Muslims return to mosques today, they will need ongoing support

A worshipper lights candles at a makeshift memorial at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.AAP/Mick Tsikas, CC BY-SAToday, many Muslims in New Zealand will be returning for Friday prayers. Some might f...

Fatima Junaid, Lecturer, Massey University - avatar Fatima Junaid, Lecturer, Massey University

'It's real to them, so adults should listen': what children want you to know to help them feel safe

Children and young people told us they were often overwhelmed by the risks that surrounded them.from shutterstock.comIn recent months, we have been confronted by events that make the world seem unsafe...

Tim Moore, Associate Professor and  Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia - avatar Tim Moore, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia

A brief history of science writing shows the rise of the female voice

Women played a role as both readers and authors in the history of science writing.Shutterstock/Africa StudioThree centuries ago, when modern science was in its infancy, the gender disparity in educati...

Robyn Arianrhod, Adjunct Associate , School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University - avatar Robyn Arianrhod, Adjunct Associate , School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University

Cannibalism helps fire ants invade new territory

Fire ant stings can be deadly to people who have an allergic reaction to their venom.Forest and Kim Starr/Flickr, CC BY-SATropical fire ants (Solenopsis geminata), originally from central and South Am...

Pauline Lenancker, PhD student in biology and ecology, James Cook University - avatar Pauline Lenancker, PhD student in biology and ecology, James Cook University

We've let wage exploitation become the default experience of migrant workers

Australia’s Fairwork Commission has so far this year examined more than a dozen cases of wage theft. Those cases involve hundred of workers and millions of dollars in underpayments.And it’...

Joo-Cheong Tham, Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne - avatar Joo-Cheong Tham, Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne

Jobs but not enough work. How power keeps workers anxious and wages low

The unemployment rate is 4.9%, but the underemployment rate is 8.1%ShutterstockThis is the third in a three-part mini-symposium on Wages, Unemployment and Underemployment presented by The Conversation...

Barbara Pocock, Emeritus Professor University of South Australia, University of South Australia - avatar Barbara Pocock, Emeritus Professor University of South Australia, University of South Australia

What Parkland's experience tells us about the limits of a 'security' response to Christchurch

In the days before the mass shootings in Christchurch I was visiting Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018. I was recording a story about ho...

Amanda Tattersall, Postdoc in urban geography and Research Lead at Sydney Policy Lab. Host of ChangeMakers Podcast., University of Sydney - avatar Amanda Tattersall, Postdoc in urban geography and Research Lead at Sydney Policy Lab. Host of ChangeMakers Podcast., University of Sydney

Friday essay: images of mourning and the power of acknowledging grief

These images of Cherine Fahd's grandfather's funeral were tucked away in a brown paper envelope for decades. As a society, we too often keep grief hidden from view. Author providedBefore her death in...

Cherine Fahd, Director Photography, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Cherine Fahd, Director Photography, School of Design, University of Technology Sydney

Local Māori urge government to address long-running dispute over rare cultural heritage landscape

Supporters of the campaign to stop commercial development at Ihumaatao.Qiane Matata-Sipu , CC BY-SAAn escalating crisis at Ihumaatao, near Auckland’s airport, is challenging the commercial devel...

Tim McCreanor, Professor Race Relations, Health and Wellbeing, Massey University - avatar Tim McCreanor, Professor Race Relations, Health and Wellbeing, Massey University

Grattan on Friday: Shorten's not getting ahead of himself, but the tape measure is out

With the election likely to be called in about a fortnight – the weekend after the April 2 budget - behind the scenes Labor is “measuring the curtains” of government.Any sign of hubr...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Will the New Zealand gun law changes prevent future mass shootings?

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a ban on certain military-style weapons.AAP/David AlexanderAs she foreshadowed in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre last Friday, New Ze...

Rick Sarre, Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, University of South Australia - avatar Rick Sarre, Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, University of South Australia

NSW election: where do the parties stand on brumby culling?

Feral horses have severely damaged the landscape in Kosciuszko National Park.Travelstine, CC BY-SAThe future management of New South Wales’s national parks is one of the issues on the line in Sa...

Don Driscoll, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology, Deakin University - avatar Don Driscoll, Professor in Terrestrial Ecology, Deakin University

Confused about aged care in the home? These 10 charts explain how it works

Home care providers' profits are growing but many older Australians are missing out on quality care.The Conversation / ShutterstockThis week, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety hea...

Fron Jackson-Webb, Deputy Editor/Senior Health + Medicine Editor - avatar Fron Jackson-Webb, Deputy Editor/Senior Health + Medicine Editor

Jobs but not enough work. How power keeps workers anxious and wages low

The unemployment rate is 4.9%, but the underemployment rate is 8.1%ShutterstockThis is the third in a three-part mini-symposium on Wages, Unemployment and Underemployment presented by The Conversation...

The Conversation - avatar The Conversation

We've let wage exploitation become the default experience of migrant workers

Australia’s Fairwork Commission has so far this year examined more than a dozen cases of wage theft. Those cases involve hundred of workers and millions of dollars in underpayments.And it’...

The Conversation - avatar The Conversation

A new procedure may preserve fertility in kids with cancer after chemo or radiation

A 12-week-old baby female macaque, named Grady, was born from frozen testicular tissue. Oregon Health and Science University, CC BY-SACancer in children was often a death sentence in decades past, but...

Kyle Orwig, Professor of OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh - avatar Kyle Orwig, Professor of OB/GYN and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh

March Madness: With gambling legal in eight states, who really wins?

The odds of more legal betting are good. AP Photo/John LocherMarch means springtime, but also breathless headlines of Cinderellas, busted brackets and buzzer beaters. This year, it’ll also inclu...

John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society, Pennsylvania State University - avatar John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society, Pennsylvania State University

Will more genetically engineered foods be approved under the FDA's new leadership?

Will food laws change as more GM foods are created?Zerbor/Shutterstock.comThe world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug...

Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University - avatar Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University

We need more teachers of color, so why do we use tests that keep them out of the classroom?

Teacher license exams often fail to predict which teachers will be the best, research shows.michaeljung from shutterstock.comStudents of color seldom see teachers who look like them. This is because m...

Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor, Michigan State University - avatar Emery Petchauer, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Niger has the world's highest birth rate – and that may be a recipe for unrest

While fertility levels have declined rapidly in most parts of the world, many countries in the sub-Saharan African region of the Sahel have seen their reproductive rates go down very slowly, and only ...

John F. May, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University - avatar John F. May, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University

Nuns were secluded to avoid scandals in early Christian monastic communities

Margareta, head of the women's community at Lippoldsberg (in modern-day Germany) clasps hands with an Augustinian monk as he hands her a book.Lippoldsberg Evangeliary. Kassel, Landesbibliothek, MS the...

Alison I. Beach, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University - avatar Alison I. Beach, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University

Is it act of malicious stupidity or evil genius? The strawberry sabotage crisis is no doubt hurting individual growers in the short term, but in the long term it may prove a huge win for the industry.

Few crimes are as easy to commit, yet so seriously endanger public safety and threaten such commercial damage, as malicious food tampering. The perpetrators’ motivation is typically to create fear and hurt a company or industry. Yet history illustrates that, over time, the opposite occurs.

This crisis began in early September with the discovery of sewing needles embedded in strawberries bought at a Woolworths store in Brisbane. What started as an isolated incident thought to involve a disgruntled employee at one Queensland farm quickly turned to national crisis. Consumers were advised to dispose of, or return strawberries bought from supermarkets in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Then needles showed up in strawberries in Western Australia and Tasmania. Within a week, dozens of cases of fruit contamination had been reported around the country, as well as in New Zealand.

Read more: Strawberry sabotage: what are copycat crimes and who commits them?

Product tampering’s long and pointless history

One of the earliest recorded incidents of product tampering was in 1982. Seven people in Chicago died after taking tablets of Tylenol laced with potassium cyanide. Though a man was convicted of attempting to extort US$1 million from Tylenol’s maker, Johnson & Johnson, he was never charged over the deaths.

Johnson & Johnson responded to the crisis quickly. It withdrew more than 30 million bottles of the medication, advertised widely to warn consumers of the danger, suspended production and changed its packaging to make it tamper-proof. It cost the company more than US$100 million. But its commitment to customers’ safety ended up enhancing its brand reputation. Tylenol regained its market share within a year.

There have also been attempts to hold pharmaceutical companies to ransom in Australia. In 2000, paracetamol capsules made by Herron Pharmaceuticals were laced with strychnine. Following Johnson & Johnson’s example, Herron immediately pulled the product from store shelves. A few months later SmithKline Beecham International (now GlaxoSmithKline) was threatened. It recalled its best-selling Panadol paracetamol capsules as a precaution. In both cases public trust in each company was enhanced.

Food scares make hearts grow fonder

If extortion is the motivation, threatening a pharmaceutical company has some logic. Contaminating food seems to make less sense.

In 1977 Australia’s biggest biscuit maker, Arnott’s, dumped $10 million of biscuits due to the threat of poisoned biscuits. In this case, bizarrely, the extortionists were demanding a convicted criminal be released from prison.

In 2007, Masterfoods pulled Mars and Snickers chocolate bars from the shelves due to fears some might have been poisoned.

In both cases, by acting quickly and following textbook crisis management – protect customers first, brand second and shareholder interest third – neither company suffered long-term damage. Australians continue to buy their biscuits and bars by the millions.

In every case, history illustrates the targets of product contamination bounce back, often with sales even stronger than before.

There is good reason to believe, therefore, that the enduring result of the strawberry contamination crisis is that Australians will grow fonder of the fruit.

How consumers respond to group trauma

Research suggests there is a four-stage pattern of social behaviour after traumatic social events, such as a natural disaster or terrorist act.

  • first, a few days of shock and idiosyncratic individual reactions to attack

  • second, one to two weeks of establishing standardised displays of solidarity

  • third, two to three months of high solidarity

  • fourth, a gradual decline toward normalcy in six to nine months.

The “cut them up, don’t cut them out” pro-strawberry campaign fits into the second stage. What we are observing now is a move into a phase of strong national consumer solidarity.

Read more: VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on strawberries, Sudmalis, schools, and the au pair affair

While strawberry growers suffered a few weeks of devastating losses, sales have bounced back quickly. In some cases people are making a concerted effort to buy even more strawberries than they would have.

An outpouring of strawberry solidarity

Already searches for the recipes using strawberries have risen markedly on the popular cooking website taste.com.au. Social media hashtags #SmashaStrawb and #saveourstrawberries have trended. Celebrities and politicians have appeared in the media happily eating strawberries. Media outlets are hosting special awareness and fundraising events.

Strawberry festivals are attracting strong crowds from Fremantle to Bundaberg in Queensland Farmers have opened their gates to families wanting to pick their own fruit. This is the sort of emotional connection other primary producers can only dream about. It helps that strawberry farms are generally close to towns and cities, and that you don’t need to climb or dig to harvest the fruit.

Because we are creatures of habit – the reason we return so quickly to buying products after a contamination scare – there is a good chance this enthusiasm for strawberries, if sustained for a few months, will translate into higher habitualised consumption in the longer term.

So if the intention of the original strawberry saboteur was to damage a specific strawberry grower, it is likely to prove an intensely stupid scheme. On the other hand, as a perverse act of strategic marketing it has a touch of evil genius.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/growers-are-in-a-jam-now-but-strawberry-sabotage-may-well-end-up-helping-the-industry-103516