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Canberra Man Poisoned [Mercury in Streets Ice Cream]

By ixnay_on_the_illpay 17 November 2005 9

No online reference I could find, but the blue collar bible the Daily Telegraph ran this story today. In a situation reminiscent, yet infinitely worse than the infamous Dickson-Cockroach-Dim-sim-Fiasco, Canberra man John Suthern is suing Streets Ice cream for Mercury poisoning he sustained eating a tub of ice cream in 1996.

Streets recalled around 4,000 tubs, but allegedly not before Suthern had imbibed a good deal of the deadly metal. The poor bloke allegedly started suffering symptoms of poisoning after which he lost his job, house and wife of 17 years. They showed a 40 minute video of Suthern’s condition in court that sounded incredibly harrowing, with Suthern physically disfigured and begging his wife to give him drugs to kill the pain.

The hearing still continues, but I’d like to know how these ridiculous things end up in foodstuffs on regular occasions. Metal filings, bits of wire and in this case mercury – it seems bizarre to comprehend how they make their way into packaging and in the case of this Canberran, cause devastating repurcussions.

Gimme the cockroach any day.

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9 Responses to
Canberra Man Poisoned [Mercury in Streets Ice Cream]
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Mr Evil 10:14 am 18 Nov 05

Yeah, I wouldn’t have thought it’d be worth deliberately fucking your whole life up just to get a few million out of a company.

But I guess there are some people out there who’d do anything for a buck; just watch ‘reality’ tv!

Thumper 8:34 am 18 Nov 05

Thanks K, yes, I heard the same rumour in that he presented with symptoms well after the alleged event.

Could one be so stupid as to self administer mercury so as to get a pay out?

I guess its possible.

Kerces 10:03 pm 17 Nov 05

The ABC now has a story with Streets’ lawyers running the defence that Mr Suthern put the mercury in himself.

Chalker 3:36 pm 17 Nov 05

Amalgam fillings are an alloy of mercury (from 43% to 54%) along with silver, tin, and copper.Mercury-based fillings were apparently first used by French dentists in the 1810s. They continue to be used in some countries because of their hardness and durability and because they are inexpensive.

Mercury vapor is toxic, and the use of amalgam fillings is therefore controversial, as the fillings do emit mercury as a minute amount of vapor. Some government agencies, including the UN’s World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claim that amalgam fillings are safe, even for pregnant women, children, and diabetics, except in rare cases of allergy. However, such allergic reactions can be serious, and have been linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome [1] and Multiple Sclerosis [2]. The Food and Drug Administration has never approved amalgam for use in dental fillings and is meanwhile opposing its use but amalgam fillings are legally considered “devices” and therefore outside the regulatory control of the FDA.
Source: Wikipedia, Dental Fillings

terubo 1:47 pm 17 Nov 05

This has me worried too – I’m so ancient I can remember the dentist using mercury to make my fillings with.

Absent Diane 1:22 pm 17 Nov 05

Geesus…. sounds like this has cost the poor bastard a fuck load… I sincerely hope he gets adequate compensation for it

che 12:54 pm 17 Nov 05

how do things like metal end up in food?

at a guess I’d say that while we all think food is made in a nice clean kitchen, it is actually made in a workshop/factory style environment which does have lots of chemicals and bits of metal all over it

ssanta 12:36 pm 17 Nov 05


Have a burl at this

Spectra 12:06 pm 17 Nov 05

The ABC had a story about this a couple of days ago:

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