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Contaminating goods causing public alarm or economic loss

When someone interferes with, harms or pollutes goods, causing public alarm or economic loss.

Contaminating goods causing public alarm or economic loss
  • A worker in a food processing factory posts a video of themselves urinating in the product
  • Someone sprays chemicals on an organic crop and publicly posts that the organic crop is contaminated

  • The goods were not contaminated
  • You did not intend to cause public alarm or economic loss
There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Can they prove that you contaminated any goods?
  • Can they prove that you intended to cause public alarm or economic loss?

Maximum penalty and court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for Contaminating Goods Causing Public Alarm or Economic Loss (s249 of the Crimes Act 1958) is level 5 imprisonment (10 years) or a level 5 fine (1200 penalty units), or both.

This is a strictly indictable charge which means that your case must be heard in the County Court.

The section that covers this offence is section 249 of the Crimes Act 1958.

What is the legal definition of Contaminating Goods Causing Public Alarm or Economic Loss ?
Contaminating goods is when the contamination was intended to cause public alarm or anxiety, or economic loss through the public becoming aware of the contamination.

“Was there contamination?”

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?
Contaminating goods causing public alarm or economic loss can be a very serious offence, for example if the contamination is widespread or extreme and causes severe public alarm or causes a business to lose a large sum of money. In this case, you may face a prison term if you are found guilty. However, in the case that the contamination is not widespread and only upsets a few people, you would be more likely to face a fine.