Pregnancy Test

Faulty pregnancy tests recalled

I don’t mean to alarm you, but if you’ve done a pregnancy test in the last few weeks, you may want to repeat it.

In fact I urge you to repeat it, ASAP. If you know anyone who has recently tested, prompt them to do another one, too.

Because many of the pregnancy tests available in Australian supermarkets and chemists have been found to be unreliable!

The Therapeutic Good Administration has conducted a broad review of the DIY pregnancy testing kits, after reports that a number of false negative results had been collected at a family planning clinic.

They haven’t supplied any dates about when these faulty tests were on the market, but it’s better to be safe than sorry by retesting.

What we do know for certain is this: “All devices remaining on the market in Australia have been shown to work reliably and accurately”, the TGA reports.

Apparently, all of the negative results at the clinic were recorded using the One Step HCG urine pregnancy test. It was tested by the TGA and found to be “insensitive” in detecting the hCG hormone.

Insensitive is one word for it… Alarming, untrustworthy, unreliable, terrifying… These are other words that spring to mind!

The One Step product has since been recalled and cancelled from the Australian Register Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

This has prompted the TGA to test a total of 38 DIY pregnancy kits; of 38 brands/devices the TGA findings were as follows:

  • 9 cancelled their ARTG entries and stopped supplying product to Australia
  • 2 had their ARTG entries cancelled because they were improperly included on the ARTG list in the first place
  • 5 were found to be faulty, and had regulatory action taken against them
  • 22 were found to work reliably.

As we said earlier: all devices that remain on the market are reliable and accurate. But it wouldn’t hurt to get a blood test, just to be sure…

Recalled products:

Consumers can return recalled pregnancy self-test tests to the point of purchase for a refund. They include:

PregSure digital: Batch 16D119-1100

PregSure test strips: Batch 16D119-0000

First Response Digital Pregnancy Test and First Response Test & Reassure: Batches SU5341, SU6207, SU6237, SU6308, SU6335, SU6196, SU6305A, SU6315A

See the full explanation and list of recalled products on the TGA website.


People in a line

Gold Coast bums…assemble!

Big, small, white, brown, saggy – we Coasties seem to love showing off our bums in public.

Why just last week I saw about twenty of them as I walked from the surf to my car.

They are everywhere you look some days.

Well we need those bums, right now.


And lots of them.

The people of the Gold Coast have been gifted an amazing opportunity, and an important responsibility.

At 1pm tomorrow afternoon (gates open 11:30am) the opening bounce of the inaugural AFLW Grand Final will smash down onto the Metricon Stadium turf.

Sure there will be Lions fans coming down from Brisbane – after all the Lions are also playing a NEAFL practice match as well as an AFL game later that night.

So let’s ball park Lions fans at 9,000.

Throw in 1,000 South Australian ex-pats who are on the coast or in Brisbane and add another 5,000 die hard Gold Coast footy fans who not only love footy in general but recognise the importance of getting behind the girls and the occasion of the first Grand Final.

After carrying the seven with a nearby crayon I’ve got 15,000 bums on seats as a semi-conservative minimum.

That won’t cut it folks.

We, the people of the Gold Coast, must take that up past 25,000.

Capacity, at 12:00pm. Nothing less.

That we as a city should make this happen is a given.

That it would be an amazing spectacle to behold and be a part of is given.

That this game is important for so many more reasons is a given.

But what remains to be seen, what is not a given, is whether we Coasties can go when it is our turn to go.

There has never been, nor will there ever be, a better time for the Gold Coast to stand under the footy.

There is a reason why Melbourne is the sporting capitol of the country and it is not because there is more sport there or better events – it is because they sense a moment and they make that moment the best it can be.

They go, they support.

Because they know that getting off ones proverbial and going creates history, it creates tradition and it instils culture.

Not just sporting culture, but culture in general.

Despite my love of cheap, cold beer and the ability to channel surf during half time, I am going to Metricon tomorrow.

I am going to show solidarity to the warriors on field who have been condescended and belittled by small-minded and/or short-sighted men for so long.

I am going with my young daughter and son for the chance for us all to be part of Australian sporting history.

But most importantly I am going for everyone across the country who can’t get there who would have loved to go but can’t make it.

The Gold Coast has a chance to transcend this Lions/Crows/Women’s footy/ AFL moment into a moment for the whole country.

We didn’t ask for it, but it is on us and us alone to make it happen.

I’m in.

9,999 bums to go.

Honking the horn

Where is common courtesy behind the wheel?

Is it just me, or are drivers getting more and more selfish?

I’ve had several experiences on the Gold Coast over the last few weeks that have convinced me local drivers are becoming a pack of self-involved ninnies!

For instance, when arriving at an appointment in Varsity Lakes, I encountered rudeness on the road.

There is a lot of construction happening along the main strip, which has soaked up car spots, so finding a park near the commercial areas can be a nightmare. After 15 minutes of driving around looking for a car space, I finally saw a woman walking towards her Mazda. I zoomed over and put my indicator on as she hopped in and prepared to leave.

All of 7 seconds later, a car slowed down behind me… and then beeped his horn. It had been literally seconds of waiting, but he was angry. I looked I my rearview mirror and he had his arms raised above his shoulders, in the international symbol for “What’s going on? I’m annoyed!”

He could clearly see I was waiting for a car park, but he was so bloody impatient he didn’t care.

Maybe he was running late for an appointment that was going to change his life? I don’t know – I hope he had something important waiting for him on the other end of that car ride, because I don’t see any other valid excuse for being such a knob.

After he honked again, I gave him the international symbol right back, and kept merrily waiting for my park. Thirty seconds later I slid into the park and he sped off.

And I sat there, stewing in my rage for a minute or two, because that type of behavior causes accidents. It can make people feel anxious and flustered and stressed, and cause them to accidentally lurch forward or backwards in their rush to accommodate the bossy bully behind them.

This is why I hate impatient, rude people on the road.

Thank God the roads are all going to be driverless in a decade or so!

The Meddler

Popular delusions

Selfish kids don’t tend to be popular at school.

We try so hard to help them learn to share and care, but if little Johnny won’t share his ball, split his sandwich or help a classmate who has fallen over and hurt themselves, well let’s just say he won’t need to book the big table at Pizza Hut for his birthday.

Welcome to populism in 2017.

Few things have annoyed me as much as the rise in usage of this term in describing the current political climate.

The term has reared its head again this week in the aftermath of the elections in the Netherlands which reignited the global news media’s penchant for rebranding racism, xenophobia and fear-mongering as populism.

Two key points here;

Firstly, abstractly speaking a small increase in something doesn’t make it popular.

If our little Johnny found a friend who was as selfish as he is, he would still be a long way shy of class president.

If three people suddenly decide that Michael Bay’s recent movies are actually watchable and well-directed, today’s news media would use the headline ‘Bay’s popularity skyrockets’.

But while not technically false, it is misleading.

Context is needed.

For example a more factually accurate headline would read, ‘Mrs Bay, three stoners call Transformers 4 watchable’.

If you read ‘Shark numbers quadruple on Gold Coast beaches in last month’ you’d freak out right?

Unless you knew that the number had climbed from 1 to 4.

The ‘spike’ or rise is relative and a percentage spike can be reported and digested in a way that fails to take into account the low starting base.

Secondly, and much more importantly, it is not ‘popular’ to be selfish.

Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, you name it, the vast majority of us spend years of our life hammering home concepts like sharing, respect, fairness and caring to our young.

Chucking a tanty and yelling at a bigger, smaller, snottier, louder, uglier, fatter, smarter (you get the point) kid who wants to come and play with the toy/ball/swing you are playing with would not fly in any sandpit, schoolyard or playground on the planet.

“You stop that right now, you be nice/share/care right this instant or you’ll (insert punishment).”

Now somewhere along the way some people lose this moral grounding and become selfish, thinking only of themselves and their likes, desires and needs.

While that is sad, it is certainly not popular.

Whether it is sexism, nationalism, racism or xenophobia – they all come down to a predisposition to be selfish, to place ones race, gender, country or self above others.

Promising to reign in government spending or tax the mega-rich are populist ideals.

An immigration ban (to pluck an example at random) is something else entirely.

Once that threshold is crossed then the media need to call it what it is and stop lumping it in with a term that presumes majority of us are in support of it.

The Meddler

I’m not racist, but…

For many, many reasons, I am privileged. But the biggest privilege I’ve been handed in this life has undoubtedly been the colour of my skin.

I am white, middle-class and educated. If only I was a man, I’d have scored the golden ticket! Alas, I still have a gender pay gap and some rampant sexism to deal with, but aside from that, I’ve got it pretty good.

This point was hammered home to me yesterday thanks to writer Benjamin Law and celebrity chef Adam Liaw, after it was announced that the government is redefining racism laws.

Ironically coinciding with Harmony Day, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the wording contained within Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act would change from “offend, insult and humiliate” to “harass and intimidate”.

This slight wording change may not seem like a big deal.

But as minorities know all too well, words are powerful. Words can haunt you, hunt you down, and change your life.

Benjamin tweeted, “To celebrate the Coalition tampering with the RDA on #HarmonyDay, let’s share stories of racism with hashtag #FreedomOfSpeech. I’ll start.”

He followed it with, “At the age of 10, I was at the local pool as a group of white boys held my head underwater, laughing at me for being Asian.”

Thousands of people then added their own heart-wrenching experiences, including many high profile Australians.

But the one that really sliced through my heart was a message from Adam Liaw, a popular chef who found fame on Masterchef.

“I’ve been told to go back to where I came from thousands of times. I’ve been called a ‘gook’, ‘nip’, ‘ching-chong’ or any number of racist names thousands of times,”

“My beautiful, adorable kids will be called those names. I know that because it’s happened to every single Asian person I know in Australia.”

He added, “Most Australians aren’t racists. Neither are the kids who will one day tease my kids for their race. The racism I worry about is systemic. It’s under-representation media, boardrooms, or the slightest inkling that kids with brown skin are less Australian than if they were white.”

I’d like to think that most Australians aren’t racist.

And just as importantly, I hope we’re raising a generation of kids who won’t even understand the meaning or intention of those hurtful words.