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Drench Resistance Shows Dangers Of Chemicals

19 April 2000

Drench Resistance Shows Dangers Of Chemical Dependence

Green Party Agriculture spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said he was concerned but not surprised at a study which shows New Zealand cattle have the highest level of resistance to drench in the world.

The study by Lincoln University Dr Alex Familton involved 7,400 cattle under two years of age and 12 farmers throughout the country. The study found that eight of the farms still had significant parasite problems even after the cattle had been drenched.

Ian Ewen-Street - an organic beef farmer - said he agreed with Dr Familton that the results were frightening.

"Much of New Zealand's non-organic agriculture is completely dependent on chemicals," he said. "Our use of herbicides and pestides in agriculture is among the highest in the world and studies like this perfectly illustrate the dangers of chemical dependence," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said he was especially concerned that parasitic resistance to drench had made some sheep and goat farming unsustainable in some countries.

"The Green Party would like to see a reduction in the use of chemicals in agriculture including the use of herbicides, pesticides, drenches, dips, sprays and antibiotics," he said.

"However ideally we would like to see a chemical reduction as a step towards New Zealand becoming an organic nation by 2020," he said.

"I am concerned about the health of people consuming our agricultural produce after heavy chemical treatment but I am also concerned for animals who have been bred for generations into chemical dependence," he said.

"The risks of our current approach to agriculture have never been clearer."

Ends

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 025 902 527 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 110 1133


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