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West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying Release

West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying Release


WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying)

Press Release 2 August 2002

======================

Helen Wiseman-Dare, Chairperson WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying) said today that she was deeply concerned over MAF's plans to widen the spray zone for Spray 8 to 802 hectares covering 3,444 properties.

She said that she had received reports during the last spray round that schools and kindergartens in Oratia, plus addresses in Seabrook Ave, New Lynn and Bruce MacLaren Road, Henderson, were sprayed without prior notification. Children were eating their morning tea in the school playgrounds at the time.

She said that on previous occasions other schools and streets had been sprayed without notification and that children were sprayed over in at least one school playground while eating lunch. The school had not been notified beforehand. It was also reported that commuters were sprayed over while waiting for a train at the Sunnyvale railway station.

Ms Wiseman-Dare also expressed concern over MAF doctors' continued denial of the seriousness of the adverse health effects being experienced by spray victims and their continued refusal to attribute symptoms to anything other than allergic responses to the so-called "food grade" ingredients in the spray or "just irritant effects". In the face of residents' expressed concerns for their health all that many are being offered are allergy tests. Many are being told that their symptoms are psychosomatic. She is particularly disturbed by the fact that sufferers and their doctors are still not allowed to know what is in the spray in spite of the fact that the manufacturer has stated that repeated exposure can result in sensitisation and allergic response.

She says that although MAF has had over $23 million of taxpayers' money so far to spend on the aerial spraying campaign, very little is being spent on protecting the health of residents. Many residents have had to battle to be relocated during spraying in spite of suffering severe effects from the spray. She says she is now starting to hear reports of people with growths and nodules in their noses, throats or lungs. She has also heard of at least 3 miscarriages in the spray zone, including 2 in the same street and also reports of unknown numbers of elderly residents dying from respiratory complications since spraying began. She says that she has also been told of multiple houses for sale in some streets in the spray zone.

She is also aware that the Auckland Zoo has expressed concerns should the aerial spraying take place nearby and according to MAF Technical Advisory Group Minutes has asked to be notified of any finds in the vicinity. After the first spray round the media reported that MAF had paid to relocate a horse suffering severe side effects which included fist sized swellings under the skin. She says that many people have told her of similar plus other adverse health effects in their pets after spraying.

In the light of all these concerns Ms Wiseman-Dare is appalled that MAF scientists and forestry industry representatives are still pushing the government to approve an option for the future management of the moth which would see an expansion of the spray zone of up to 12,000 hectares - 15 times the current size. In east Auckland 4 years ago an area of 4,000 hectares was sprayed with a DC6 aeroplane engendering at least 700 reports of adverse health effects. In Canada Foray 48B was banned for use in ground spraying by an Environment Court. One of the reasons given was that there had been no long term studies done on the effects of Btk on human health.

Helen Wiseman-Dare WASP Ph: 09 827 2516


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