Last week, on the eve of Australia's berry season, a vicious wave of food terrorism struck the country.  One man was hospitalized and several more narrowly escaped injury from eating strawberries injected with knitting needles.

Police have now uncovered that the needles were originally placed by a young boy, but several copycat incidents have followed involving strawberries, apples, bananas, and mangos.

Soon after the initial attacks, distressing images arose of growers dumping their berry harvests by the drum load, believing a year of hard work and profits to have been lost by a senseless act of food terrorism.41866291 1867920726625692 7908334556413952000 n

What could have been a crippling assault on Australia's berry industry has been mitigated by consumers, who fought back with a strong show of solidarity with embattled growers.  The hashtags #SmashaStrawb and #CutThemUpDontCutThemOut have exploded on social media, with politicians and celebrities endorsing the public campaign to save the country's berry industry and show would-be terrorists that they will not be intimidated.  "Buy a punnet for yourself and a punnet for the nation," urged the country's Opposition leader Bill Shorten.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of Queensland, the state where the first attack occured, has announced a $1 million fund to help growers affected by the crisis. The money will go towards promotion of the state's strawberries and also an investigation into how traceability and integrity can be bolstered in the supply chain, to help prevent further acts of food terrorism.



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