Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Secret spray ingredients released

Secret spray ingredients released

Community representatives concerned about the health effects of the controversial aerial spray campaign against the Painted Apple Moth, have today released details of the spray's secret ingredients.

Community Advisory Group members Hana Blackmore and Dr Meriel Watts say all attempts to get the ingredients revealed through official channels and complaints to the Office of the Ombudsmen have failed.

Government and Ministry officials have consistently refused to reveal the so-called ‘inert’ ingredients which make up 97% of the spray (Foray 48B) being used on 180,000 people in Auckland, Waitakere and North Shore Cities.

But Hana and Dr Watts who have both recently published reports on the health effects of the spray programme, say they cannot wait around for other legal challenges that may not succeed either.

"Everyone knows people are sick now. They have a right to know what they are being exposed to, and that is why we released the names of the ingredients to TV1’s Sunday programme".

Dr Meriel Watts said that some people have become very sensitive to the spray. "They are told that the chemicals are commonly found in food and cosmetics, but because they have not been told what those chemicals are, they cannot take action to avoid further exposure. We have simply provided those people with the means to look after their own health. It is completely unacceptable that the government has denied people this right, especially since they are the ones causing the health problem in the first place".

Like Dr Watts, Hana Blackmore has been battling since the 1996 Tussock Moth spraying to have the ingredients made publicly available. "The exposure levels now being experienced by people in West Auckland is quite without precedent anywhere in the world" she said. "There is no doubt in my mind that after 16 months of aerial spraying, some people have become severely sensitised to the spray." (1)

Meriel Watts, who is also spokeswoman for Pesticides Action Network Aotearoa NZ, said the list of ingredients had been legally obtained, and were actually identified from Ministry of Health papers released under the Official Information Act to the Stop Aerial Spraying Group (SAS).

"Our limited research into these ingredients shows that their hazard profiles are very similar to the health effects being reported in West Auckland." she said.

Hana Blackmore agrees, and said this information confirms the validity of the hundreds of health reports she has received from the community, and even answers some of the reported exposure effects that have been dismissed by authorities as 'nothing to do with the spray'.

"Now the spray information is out in the open, perhaps we can begin to see these people being taken seriously, and the true level of the exposure effects recognised."

Both she and Meriel consider it is ethically unacceptable for the Government to continue to take the line that is doesn't matter that only a small percentage of people are sick.

"Every person matters. Government says the community puts up with this acceptable level of spray effects 'for the good of the country'. But this is wrong. As Meriel has said, we all have individual rights, not just collective rights".

The secret ingredients identified in the spray are methyl paraben (methyl4-hydroxybenzoate), benzoic acid/sodium benzoate, propylene glycol, potassium sorbate, sorbitol, hydrochloric acid, and polyacrylic acid. The other ingredients – Btk, fermentation solids and water – are already publicly known.

“We have provided the food code numbers of those of the ingredients that are used in food so that sensitive people can read the labels and avoid them”, said Dr Watts. “People should also check labels of cosmetics”. (2)

Hana Blackmore also notes it is important that people know that by using inerts that have been registered as 'safe' for adding to food, the spray manufacturer actually avoids having to do extensive toxicity testing on the whole formulation. (3)

"This means there has been no testing of combined, additive or synergistic effects. For example in this spray, propylene glycol increases the activity of another ingredient methyl paraben. Inhalation effects - the most usual exposure route for people in West Auckland, has not been taken into account. As Meriel highlighted in her recent Report, (4) some chemicals are known to be much more toxic when inhaled than when ingested, and where inhalation had been tested on one of the ingredients, benzoic acid, no recognised safe level for inhalation was found."

Meriel and Hana caution that since February of this year the government has actually been using a slightly different formula of the Foray 48B spray and new chemicals are involved.

“Whilst the government has said it is not of concern, as the 'spray's hazard profile is the same', we believe the government should do the honourable thing and tell the people of Auckland what the new chemicals are. This way those who need to can avoid exposure to these additional ingredients as well”.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news