Sunday, 3 May 2009

Bali / Indonesia – The world’s worst health and safety risk?

Bali / Indonesia – The world’s worst health and safety risk?
By Keith Cooper
Aug 8, 2007, 05:15

Do you hate your own life and family that much?!
Bali is becoming a very, very unsafe place to travel to stay even when you discount, which you should not do, the ever present terrorism risk. The biggest news maker on this front is the massive Indonesian problem with H5N1 bird flu; not just the number of cases, but how the Indonesian authorities lie about and even try to make a profit from it! The prospect of actually flying into and out of Bali is also a risky one, not least if you fly with an Indonesian airline like Garuda International; the airline credited with murdering one of its passengers and losing many more to accidents (see: Bali Airport). Even if you could get decent medical treatment in Bali / Indonesia, which you almost certainly can not (see: Bali International Hospital), there are several other news stories not quite making the front page elsewhere right now that show just how unsafe it is to stay in Bali, Indonesia. One is about disease, the other about food contagions (deadly contaminates).

What dengue fever does to you (as well as kill you)
First comes news of an epidemic of Dengue fever in Indonesia; a really nasty mosquito born disease that has killed thousands this year already. The dengue problem comes from increased rainfall during the monsoon season, thanks almost certainly to Indonesian Home Grown Global Warming, plus the way the Indonesian authorities deal with or rather do not deal with mosquitoes. You see, in the 80’s and 90’s the Indonesians got on top of mosquito born diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis by the widespread use of DDT, a particularly virulent chemical which unfortunately ends up in the food chain and poisons humans. So the Indonesians stopped using DDT and replaced it with what? Nothing! The Indonesians did nothing to introduce new controls and education, such as not discarding refuse everywhere, as the Indonesians and Balinese are so prone to do. Not only did the Balinese ignore the problem, they made it worse by tolerating illegal effluence dumping around the island including very close to the tourist areas of Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa and Sanur.

Unfortunately malaria, which the Balinese authorities still lie about to this day by claiming that there is no malaria in Bali when there are hundreds of reported cases, dengue and other mosquito born diseases went on the increase, in dengue’s case dramatically so. So what master-plan did the Indonesian scientists come up with? The reintroduction of DDT use; brilliant! Aside from the fact it is too little too late, the too little may well increase mortality in Indonesia, not decrease it. Already multiple cases of “mysterious” food poisoning have been reported by the Indonesian health ministry around the archipelago; the term “mysterious” is used by them when they do not want to say what the problem actually is. So Dengue is on the rapid increase, malaria is increasing, Japanese encephalitis is increasing and food poisoning by DDT is now coming back with a vengeance.

In Bali the synonym "belly" attests to the fact there has always been a food hygiene and contamination problem on the island, but if only the tourists knew just how bad it is! First of all Balinese rice is some of the most pesticide contaminated rice in the world with the massive use of cheap chemicals in agriculture, likely with even DDT being used again in Bali now. The rice paddy water plays its part in the entire Balinese eco-system, so other vegetables and fruits, plus the animals that eat them end up being contaminated. Also, Indonesians including the Balinese have a very nasty habit of selling infected livestock for human consumption, fact; after all, they eat it themselves so why not sell it for others to eat? This is why so many large hotels in Bali buy ghastly, flavourless, pre-packaged food from Australia and elsewhere and tart it up with large amounts of MSG which affects and most often afflicts your central nervous system. If you go to Bali you really are better off taking your own food and water parcels with you, especially now with official news that Bali’s seafood is not fit to eat.

"Seafood, seafood?!" Today's fresh Bali catch.
For years tourists have complained about how they saw fish restaurants on Jimbaran Beach sell fish with lead weights inside them to unwitting foreign customers because they charge according to the weight of the fish ordered. Then came reports the local fisherman were ignoring regulations not to fish the inshore waters because of the untreated effluence problem that afflicts the sea and beaches around Bali. What compounded matters regarding seafood in Bali is that so many westerners feel they have to eat lobster on holiday, but no lobster is caught in Bali; it all comes from Java in pretty unsanitary conditions. For those travellers who have visited fishing areas such as Lovina Bali and seen "fresh" fish being sold along the side of the road without any form of refrigeration, you can pretty accurately guess what the Indonesian fish trucks that serve Jimbaran Bay and elsewhere are like!

Now Biosecurity Australia, a division of the Aussie department of health, has banned all prawn imports from Indonesia because of pathogen infestations. But it gets worse; China has now banned all seafood from Indonesia, despite the fact they need cheap fish for their poorly paid populace, also because of the health risks of Indonesian seafood; still fancy a nice bit of fish on the beach?

Bali really is not a safe place to travel to, stay at or eat in because of the lax standards and non-existent enforcement by a wholesale corrupt government departments; particularly the mafia police of Bali. Do you really want to take your family to the H5N1, Dengue, infected meat, poisonous seafood capital of the world? For your own sakes and also for those of the Balinese who need to take control of the rot on their island, boycott Bali, boycott Indonesia and boycott anything Indonesian until their nation [sic] puts public service and safety over making a buck and committing human rights abuse.

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