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Making False Statements Regarding the Contamination of Goods

Making False Statements Regarding the Contamination of Goods is an offence under section 93M of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You made a statement
  2. You intended by doing so to induce the person to whom the statement was made to believe that goods had been contaminated
  3. You intended thereby to cause public alarm, or to cause economic loss through awareness of the contamination, and
  4. You knew your statement was false.

Making a statement encompasses conveying information by any means.

‘Contaminate’ includes:

Interfering with goods or making it appear that goods have been interfered with.

‘Goods’ includes all substances and articles, whether or not for human consumption, whether or not incorporated or mixed with other goods, and whether natural or manufactured

‘Economic loss’ includes:

Members of the public not purchasing the goods or similar goods.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Self-defence, including the defence of others
  2. Duress, and
  3. Necessity.

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