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Greens welcome arrival of chemical trespass bill


3 August 2000

Greens welcome arrival of chemical trespass bill

The Green Party today welcomed the drawing from the ballot of the Agricultural Chemical Trespass Bill under the name of Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta.

Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the Greens had a keen interest in the bill and were looking forward to supporting it in the House and working on the details of the bill in select committee.

"The health issues associated with pesticides and herbicides drifting onto neighbouring people and properties is a critical issue for many people in this country," said Sue Kedgley.

"Pesticide use poses very serious risks to peoples health as well as the ecological stability of New Zealand. Residues from the more than 3,000 tonnes of pesticides sprayed onto our crops each year currently contaminate our streams, lakes, waterways, marine environment and our own human beings," she said.

"Just recently compensation was awarded in a case of chemical trespass which seriously damaged the health of a man on a neighbouring property. The whole area of chemical trespass clearly needs some scrutiny and people need some protection."

The World Health Organisation report a wide variety of known health effects, both chronic and acute, from exposure to pesticides including cancer, immune system damage, damage to the reproductive system and birth defects.

"Clearly people have a basic right to choose to avoid these chemicals," she said. "This is what this bill is all about." Ms Kedgley said the spraying of chemicals in agriculture needed revisiting and that the Greens were planning to be very involved in the bills passage through parliament.

"We are pleased that Labour appears to be taking this issue very seriously as well."

Ends

Ian Ewen-Street MP: 04 470 6726, 025 902 5275 Sue Kedgley MP: 04 470 6717, 025 270 9088


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