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Spray Drift Harming Children Unacceptable - Greens

26 August 2002

Spray Drift Harming Children Unacceptable - Greens

Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street today said he was determined to try and have his Chemical Trespass private members bill passed following news that spray drift may be harming Tauranga school children.

The head of Te Puna School, Mike Scadden, has said he is convinced that his students suffer a range of health problems around this time of the year as a result of exposure to agricultural sprays.

"It is totally unacceptable for the health of children to be compromised by the use of sprays and the users of all agrichemicals must be required to keep their sprays within their boundaries," said Mr Ewen-Street.

"My Chemical Trespass Bill will prohibit chemicals from drifting outside of a property onto other people or property. Our farmers and orchardists use a number of sprays which can cause health problems and people need protection against accidental exposure to these chemicals."

Mr Ewen-Street said the concerns of Mike Scadden needed to be taken seriously as he was dealing with his students every day and was convinced of the link between spraying and a range of health problems in students.

"Spray drift is a major health issue in many areas of New Zealand and it is also a major issue for organic farmers who could lose their certification from chemicals drifting onto their crops.

"My Chemical Trespass Bill would, if drawn, deal with these issues and put the responsibility to safely contain sprays and agrichemicals on the people who choose to use them.

"I picked up this bill when Labour dropped it during the last parliamentary term. I am committed to seeing this bill passed and for our people and farmers to be given appropriate legal protection against unwanted exposure to agrichemicals and sprays," said Mr Ewen-Street.


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