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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) Hello, and welcome to today tonight. I'm Naomi Robson. we expose a massive food scandal, Tonight, and it's happening everywhere - dangerous chemicals added, substitutions, you have been a victim. and the odds are they are deceiving the public. They're breaking the law, you'll meet our oldest runaways - Also, of a couple in their 80s the amazing adventure across two States. who led police on a 2,500km chase Plus, phone zones - how people in the suburbs for local calls. are still being charged STD rates on petrol prices, We'll look at how we're being conned and we'll have the very last word of our cover girl, Lynne Heming. on the incredible transformation But first - to sit down to your evening meal, a lot of you may be about of what you're serving up? but are you sure Because, as you are about to see, racket going on everywhere. there's a massive meat-substitution has this exclusive report. Nicolas Boot It's disgusting, actually. are not skilled enough The trouble is that most consumers

pick out that they're being had. to pick it out, that I did it It was for a financial advantage that I've done that. and I'm very sorry wasn't it? REPORTER: It was a 100% mark-up, I believe it was. Steak, sausages, mince, fish -

are not what they seem. your favourite cuts A crack team of food police on Australian butchers, have just completed the biggest blitz

will shock you. and what you're really eating Nobody got sick out of it. possibility of a public health risk. I realised it could have been a to the full extent of the law. I was fined for a first offence. He gave me a small discount a fish-substitution scam Butcher Roy Scardino has been running for more than a year. of what they were really buying. His customers had no idea was remarkably easy to execute. He admits his deception well over 12 months ago A woman came into the shop and asked me if I sell fish. I sell barramundi. I was foolish enough to say that that wasn't barramundi. I offered her a fish

It was Nile perch. I'm very sorry that I did that. that Mr Scardino sold our officers - This is the product frozen Nile perch fillets - as barramundi fillets. passing them off Clear deception. Clear deception? is head of food safety Peter Sutherland New South Wales Food Authority. for the recently established numerous raids in the past 15 months. His flying squad have conducted is to track them down The aim of the authority to the full extent of the law. and prosecute them A recent sweep by the agency found were involved in food substitution - that a frightening 70% of butchers sold to customers at a premium price. cheaper, inferior product Fishmongers were also targeted.

we've found is fish substitution The most common type that substituted for that of low value. where highly valued fish are Also where there is low-value meat beef and lamb. substituted for high-value I've come up clean - have always been clean. all my samples ever, forever,

when I wasn't in charge. It's just that one thing It's not good at all. It's not great. Butcher of 15 years Todd McFarland for food substitution. has been prosecuted of one of his three stores The manager was selling customers beef sausages,

cheaper inferior pork and mutton. but instead they were made from as he became aware of the fraud. Todd sacked the manager as soon was happening in one of my stores I was horrified to find out that and I've been made aware today throughout the business. it's pretty common And it's just not right. is full of crooks The retail meat industry to make easy money. and they will do anything and lawyer Des Sabraa says Former chief food inspector in food substitution, along with an increase there's another worrying trend - dangerous additive, sulphur dioxide, butchers using a potentially

to freshen up mince. wouldn't be able to tell. And again, the customers that's really gone off, You can get meat put sulphur dioxide in it to make it look all right. and bring it back

in that case. The consumer wouldn't have a hope, were using sulphur dioxide. 58% of the butchers in the survey Does that alarm you? the butchers are doing it. That means that more than half was using the masking agent Todd McFarland's store manager

at potentially dangerous levels to unsuspecting customers. in sausages that he was selling a particularly dangerous chemical. Sulphur dioxide in mince meat can be some individuals in the community. It can cause asthmatic attacks in A simple dye test can determine is laced with the additive. if the mince It turns clear in around two minutes. sweep of butchers late last year, Since the Food Authority's initial the level of sulphur dioxide usage at an unacceptable 11.7% of butchers. is hovering that sells fish. I don't know of any other butcher to do. I thought it was a trendy thing Roy says in 40 years as a butcher, he's slipped up. this is the first time that he has now cleaned up his act He wants to assure customers and no longer sells fish. who have been caught out. It's not only the butchers

prosecuted and fined $68,000 Recently, poultry giant Ingham was selling underweight turkeys. for its packaging, to receive the product Consumers must be able food that they receive and we have to make sure that that

and also correctly labelled. is both safe

It's straight-out fraud - and it's a fraud on our customers, a fraud on the consumer and taken to court and fined. and they deserve to be caught Nicolas Boot reporting. after the London bombings Now, it is exactly a week bombers were home-grown terrorists. and it is now confirmed that the A fact that has led British Prime Minister Tony Blair religious leaders should be blamed to claim that extremist of impressionable people for poisoning the minds to die for their cause. and encouraging them Laura Sparkes reports on whether Australia might also be harbouring radical leaders

who are looking to brainwash their followers. The youth are quite impressionable. There is an atmosphere where people are feeling marginalised and out of that is coming certain reactions and certainly, some of the reactions are quite terrible, as we have seen in the UK at this stage. So should the preachers of extreme radical Islam get deported?

Well, British Prime Minister Tony

Blair thinks so. But, this man,

executive director of the al gaz

Sally centre disagrees. He

regularly teaches the plus limb

youth about Islam and is concerned

that radical teachings in Australia

could poison the plipbgdz of the

young here. We certainly can hear

as we have seen in the past about

the rad radical rhetoric that comes

out and ploft mostly this is words.

Whether actual sinister motives

exist I don't think anybody could

answer the question. Should

Australia deport some of the

radical elements? I don't think

deportation is the answer. This is

a knee-jerk reaction. This will

marriage lies even further. We are

going further into a "Us anthem"

attitude. So what radical elements

are leer in Australia? A lady, if

she wears any kind of alluring

clothes or adorning clothes or

clothes that beautify her beauty,

she is eligible for rape. Shake

Mohammod shocked the nation reents

lee about the speech he gach to a

group of young miss lums at hus

youth centre in Sydney, that santly

dressed women are in his words

asking to the raped The most noble

death is the death of a plart2

martyr And then there is the

controversial sheikh in Melbourne *

born who urges plus limbs to take

up Jihad. He is a veteran newspaper

columnist with the Sydney's Daily

Telegraph I think we should be able

to ask those clerics who are in

citing violence to stkpw elsewhere

So what do young Australian

preliminaries think of all this?

Some have heard the radical

teachings but are quick to defend

the sheikhs saying it they would

never encourage sub * suicide

bombers. We do not teach people to

below themselves up He is a teacher

and wants to preach Islam to everybody one else. Now to something completely different. The couple you are about to meet are not your average 80-somethings. They are Australia's oldest runaways

who led police on a 2,500km police chase across two States and they have no regrets. Jackie Quist reports on this couple's amazing adventure. We went up this way first, right across, then came down gradually from near the border. They were Australia's most wanted octogenarians. Now 81-year-old runaway Tom Foulkes and wife Marian, aged 87, are safely home after evading police in two States and embarking on a 2,500km journey up the east coast. The pair, who suffer dementia, decided to flee the very day authorities were due to cancel their driver's licences. We knew perfectly well that once the case was heard on that day, that was that. I'm able to drive perfectly alright. They've taken my licence away and that's it. Taken the car away, too. But not before Tom and Marian made their escape last month, driving from Melbourne over the New South Wales border to Deniliquin. Over 10 days, they journeyed to Lennox Head in northern New South Wales and from there down to Newcastle, finally caught up with them where police finally caught up with them and seized their keys, car and licence. It had expired by then. Well then, why did they want it? They wanted to make sure. Good point! (laughs) Yeah, it's a good point. It's a good point. It had expired. It is a good point. I think they didn't have enough to do, quite honestly. But the frail fugitives evaded authorities again, jumping on a bus to Canberra where they were eventually recognised and taken to a hospital. Tom and Marian were finally flown home to Melbourne without their car. where they are struggling to cope without their car. But we've never before been deprived like this - never. And we've been absolutely overwhelmed. We can't even keep a pony in the backyard, or a donkey, to ride to the shops. Are you sorry for running away? No. All I'm sorry about is that I perhaps stupidly didn't ring New South Wales, our son,

to say, "We're quite alright." Tom says they've never done anything like this before. Married 49 years, Tom was a respected actor-turned-donkey-breeder, Marian, his beautiful wife, mother-of-one, now grandmother-of-two. Megs... We're going to the shops. Their fight for independence now over,

Tom and Marian have resigned themselves to walking, albeit reluctantly. Is it nice to be home, or do you miss being on the road? No, we feel irritated. We've never before been - this is nothing like it -

it's never happened before. We've done nothing. We're perfectly capable of driving, passing any genuine tests, taken everything away. and they've just taken everything away. I'm not looking at you. It is as I tell you - we've done nothing wrong, and... Well, you let your licence expire, that's what you did wrong. No, I didn't let it - they took it away... oh, please! Now, coming up later in the show, unprecedented security for the release of the latest Harry Potter book.

And after the break fuel anger amid claims of dirty tricks by the petrol companies. We'll tell you the cheapest times to fill up. Too dear! Way too dear. Bloody well stinks. Yeah, it does hurt. There is something can be done. The price of petrol would come down overnight. WOMAN: Where do I find winter price breakers? Adds up to 10/10. WOMAN: And you can't beat 10/10. Mitre 10. More offers in store. it's a price you can't get away from. VOICEOVER: Ah...winter. A time to hibernate. What a great time to see yourself in Canberra. Because right now, for just $159 per couple, including breakfast and two bottles of wine. Of course, while you're here Or, then, maybe you'd rather stay in. For more details and packages, call Canberra Getaways on: You might have noticed an overnight hike in petrol prices,

as much as three cents in some cities. In fact, in some areas you'll be paying as much as $1.19 per litre. But the simple truth is we are being conned. Here is Rodney Lohse reporting on the tricks being played and how to avoid paying so much when you next fill up.

Mate, can I just ask you what you think of the current petrol price? Oh, it's shocking! Too dear! Way too dear. Bloody well stinks. Yeah, it's rough, isn't it?

The price of petrol is squeezing drivers dry and blowing family budgets across the county. Yeah, it does hurt. Ridiculous. Those who can't or won't pay record petrol prices

are turning to the cheapest alternative - they are stealing it. The drive-off rate at service stations where you fill and go without paying is higher than it has ever been. And if you still need convincing that there's growing anger at rising prices, brace yourself for the latest news. Leading car associations believe Leading car associations believe you're also being ripped off. Whoever went up first yesterday went up to an excessively high level. The RACV's David Cumming tracks petrol prices every day and compares them to global oil prices. He says yesterday's hike to almost $1.20 in some parts of the country

was unjustified and greedy. Even though we have had a three-cent wholesale price increase this week, those supplies wouldn't have even been delivered. So how can motorists save on their fuel bill other than garaging their cars? I'm driving a four-cylinder now. Don't go out as much. Yeah, try and tone down the drinking. The best bet to save a few cents is to pick your day. We tracked fuel prices around the nation for the past week

and found the best days to buy. I don't think anyone really knows exactly why we're paying it. It goes up and down willy-nilly, week by week, doesn't it?

Is that annoying?

Very annoying. Our only hope of relief is if the government stops double-dipping into our pockets. There is something can be done, and that's the Federal Government. They have a tax on a tax. They have a GST on an excise. They could legislate to get rid of the GST off the excise. The price of petrol would come down overnight by 3.4 cents per litre. Well, I guess the bottom line is we're being ripped off on petrol. Rodney Lohse reporting there. How much do you pay for a local phone call? If the answer is 25 cents or less, you should consider yourself one of the lucky ones

and spare a thought for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who live on the outskirts of our major cities. They are still being charged STD rates just because they live in the suburbs. Here's Miranda Miller. We are being discriminated against. It's an established system that I think largely serves the country well. It's nothing short of a rip-off. Live in the metro area of any city and you expect you can automatically phone someone else in the metro area

for the cost of a local call. But not in some of Australia's outer metro suburbs. Here in Cranbourne in Melbourne's south-east, before single mum Joanne Blanch makes a call she checks the street directory to work out how far away the other suburb is. Otherwise, she could pay by the minute. Hi, my name's Joanne. I'm calling from Cranbourne. I would like someone to come out and give me a quote but I'm paying an STD call. Could you please return my call? Here in Evans Road, the zoning discrepancy really comes to light. Calls to the city from that side of the road are considered local and are untimed.

But calls from this side are classed as STD and are charged and are charged at long-distance rates. Telstra considers suburbs like Cranbourne

to be outside its local call zone That zone was decided back in the 1960s when Cranbourne, and suburbs like it, were out of the metro area.

But times have changed. The call zones haven't. It's a problem in every capital city in Australia. Take Eaglevale in Sydney's outer west where Peter and Anne Agland live. People within walking distance of here pay untimed rates for phone bills. The Aglands say their bills would drop by three-quarters

if they lived 500 metres away. They claim it's often cheaper to use their daughter's mobile phone rather than their landline. It's time that they looked at rezoning the boundaries. Things don't stay set in concrete forever. But Telstra says those people in the outer suburban STD zones don't have to pay STD rates. They can change plans and pay 25 cents for an untimed call to the city. Telstra's Michael Herspoke. What we've done is introduced an untimed call called the wide-area call, and we've got many customers on it who are satisfied. We think that's a pretty sort of elegant solution to the problem rather than shifting the zone.

But Joanne and the Aglands claim that's still not fair. While they pay 25 cents a pop, residents in other suburbs can pay as little as 17.5 cents for a local call. Telstra don't want to acknowledge it.

They're the only corporation in Australia that refuses to recognise Cranbourne as a metropolitan suburb. They feel like they're being discriminated against -

and they're right - they are - by Telstra. Federal MP Anthony Byrne says the call boundaries set by Telstra 50 years ago no longer apply now that the outer suburbs are Australia's growth areas. Telstra has made revenue of $21 billion in the last financial year. Its profits - $4 billion. They are raking the profits off the residents. The boundaries have to be somewhere to be able to guarantee this local call, and by simply shifting it means that you'll make one person happy and the next person less than happy. Telstra says only 4% of calls from the outer-suburb zones are to the city. It claims the average call cost in those zones has now gone down from 85 cents to 25 cents, thanks to the new plan. I think it's clear we've compromised tens of millions of dollars in doing that, but we thought that was the appropriate way to deal with a legitimate customer concern. They're a stalling technique, they're a furphy. Telstra should stop mucking around and take the STD zone off. As far as I'm concerned, metropolitan is metropolitan. We should be treated as equal. That report from Jackie Quist. Coming up later in the program - the last word on the young woman

who went from checkout girl to cover girl. And Harry Potter fever - the unprecedented security to keep the new novel under wraps.

Now, to the last word on Lynne Heming - the young woman who went from checkout girl to cover girl. Her incredible transformation was first reported by us on Monday and it has caused incredible debate. Last night she appeared on A Current Affair

who accused us of getting Lynne's story wrong. But now it is time to set the record straight. So how did she lose all that weight? Well, this is what she told A Current Affair. I lost 35 kilos. How did you lose those 35 kilos? I went to a health farm. I was there for a couple of weeks.

On Monday, this is what Lynne told us.

The Jenny Craig was really hard when you're being... ..especially at high school, because, I mean, you've got microwaved lunches and you've got to have them at certain times of the day and it's pretty hard to stick to.

The changes weren't dramatic enough? Oh, it was not - I don't think there was any changes. They did liposuction on my legs and, yeah, they did a little bit at the - what do you call it?

The bottom of your back, yeah. Yeah, just to sort of keep me in proportion and stuff. Yeah, a bit of everything.

A fair amount of fat extracted? 2.5 litres. Same girl, two very different stories. Well, that's the final word. So you be judge. Now moving on. And the long wait is almost over for Harry Potter fans with the release of JK Rowling's latest novel scheduled for this Saturday amid unprecedented security and secrecy. As Chris Simond reports. ALL: Two sleeps to go! We have received them and they're in a secret location. A secret location...? What's all this high-security business? I mean, does this happen for other books? No. Harry is a bit of a special case. MOVIE: Famous Harry Potter. Can't even go into a bookshop without making the front page. Wave a wand, climb aboard a broomstick, hold on tight... ..Harry's back! Advance orders for the Wizard's sixth outing from Hogwarts, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

is reportedly Australia's biggest selling book of all time, even before its release this Saturday. It is our biggest seller, our biggest order and it's our fastest seller. And Meredith Drake should know. As the senior book buyer for Dymocks,

she has been counting down the days till Harry's latest tome hits the shelves. We've got more than double the preorders that we had last time and we're going to be selling tens of thousands on Saturday. At another secret location, a clan meeting today of the Harry Potter Appreciation Society. We've preordered our Harry Potter copies. He's magic. I love his magic. They're at that beautiful age where they want to believe. More than a quarter of a billion Harry books have been sold worldwide in 62 languages, three blockbuster movies dripping from their pages. But still the utmost secrecy about the latest offering. So where is your security vault here, because we'd like to have a look at one of the first copies. We can't even let you film the door. Oh, come on! Can't film the door? No. Totally secret. The embargo is very, very serious and very strict. agreement or something So is there a confidentiality agreement or something that you actually have to sign with the publishers to say "We will make sure nobody sees it before the due date"? Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. All of the stores, individuallly, have to sign that agreement. We asked one bookshop whether we could film their stash of Harry's new book inside their warehouse, but this is as close as we were allowed to come. Like all bookshops, Harry will remain under lock and key until his release at 9.01 on Saturday morning. See you in the queue. What's it all about? I can't even let you have a look at the cover. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - give us a potted history now. Well, all I can tell you is the first sentence, which sets it up for us is that Valdemort has come back and war is probably going to break out. Expeto-petronum! Now to tomorrow night - and how a jealous woman who suspected her boyfriend was having and affair with a neighbour,

destroyed the neighbour's house only to discover there was no affair. In fact, the neighbour didn't even know him. SMASHING You flooded the house, you ripped the couch... Yeah, there's a very good reason for it. I didn't know what to think. I didn't know who it sas.

And that's among the stories I'll have for you tomorrow night. So until then, So until then, I hope you have a great evening. Please take care, and goodnight. Captioned by Seven Network Email -