• Tasmanian researchers believe they are one step closer to creating all the benefits of a fish-derived dietary supplement, without the fish.
• Adult industry lobby group the Eros Association and the Australian Sex Party want tobacconists and other cigarette sale points to become adult’s only premises.
• The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra has used World No Tobacco Day to announce the campus will go smoke-free from the middle of July.
Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 1st June 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
Tasmanian researchers believe they are one step closer to creating all the benefits of a fish-derived dietary supplement, without the fish.
Dr Susan Blackburn is involved in the National Algae Culture Collection and said with growing concerns about the sustainability of fish stocks and high levels of pollutants in some Omega-3 supplements, scientists were turning their attention to microalgae.
The microalgae targeted produces the omega-3 when processed in a laboratory as it does when processed by the fish.
More than $200 million worth of omega-3 supplements are sold in Australia annually, and that is growing at about 10 per cent a year.
Dr Blackburn said fish oil was the most popular source for omega-3, but the supply and pollutant concerns were driving the search for new sources.
“They’re really important in our diet, in our human diet but in fact one-in-15 Australians do not get the recommended dietary intake of omega-3 oils,” she said.
So scientists have turned their attention to what fish eat to get their source of the oil.
“The fish don’t make the fish oil themselves, the fish eat the microalgae themselves, so we can get the fish oil from the microalgae, so bypass the source,” Dr Blackburn said.
Most microalgae need sunlight to grow, but lead scientist Dr Kim Lee Chang said he had been feeding one type crude glycerol, which was industrial waste from a biodiesel plant.
He said he was pleased with the early results.
Dr Chang said microalgae’s ability to double their biomass daily gave it the potential as a renewable resource for both food and fuel.
Scientists hope both products could be on Australian shelves in five to 10 years.
Adult industry lobby group the Eros Association and the Australian Sex Party want tobacconists and other cigarette sale points to become adults only premises.
The idea is supported by the Cancer Council and Quit Victoria, who say the suggestion warrants consideration, along with other restrictions on tobacco sales.
The Eros Association has encouraged its more than 200 members to seek a licence to sell tobacco, saying it is an adult product and should be sold in an appropriate environment.
The association’s membership is largely made up of adult retailers, but also includes tobacconists and legal high shops.
Australian Sex Party Victorian MP Fiona Patten, who was the Eros Association CEO for 20 years, said she planned to raise the issue in Victorian parliament.
“It just makes common sense that adult material is sold to adults in adult areas,” she said.
“It doesn’t mean the traditional sex shop necessarily, but it does mean a tobacconist or it does mean age-restricting parts of your supermarkets, for example, where adult material is sold, like alcohol and tobacco.”
Tasmanian independent MP Ivan Dean said the idea had merit.
Mr Dean has a private members bill before Tasmanian Parliament that would make it illegal to sell tobacco to those born after the year 2000.
Quit Victoria and Cancer Council Australia said the idea should be considered by states and territories, along with other measures to restrict the availability of tobacco, saying children seeing the sale of tobacco helped normalise smoking.
The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra has used World No Tobacco Day to announce the campus will go smoke-free from the middle of July.
The university announced that the smoking ban would cover the entire ANU campus in Canberra as well as remote ANU campuses such as the Mt Stromlo Observatory and Kioloa coastal campus near Batemans Bay.
Vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young said ANU would go smoke-free from the start of the second semester on July 20.
“The university is announcing our decision to go smoke-free on World No Tobacco Day because we believe it sends a strong message to staff and students about being healthy,” he said.
“The university is committed to providing a safe and healthy campus environment for staff, students, contractors and visitors. We feel this will help to address that.”
Professor Young said the university would also provide support to staff and students who wished to quit smoking.
He said ANU would pay for QUIT courses for staff and PhD students.
Smoking is already prohibited inside ANU buildings and within 10 metres of building entrances.
The new policy prohibits all smoking, including electronic cigarettes, in or around any of the university’s campuses.
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