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Sutton personal attacks on protestors insensitive

Sutton's personal attacks on protestors "insensitive": Greens

Jim Sutton's personal criticisms of painted apple moth aerial spray protestors were insensitive Green Party Biosecurity Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said today.

The Biosecurity Minister issued a press release last night saying: "Some activists against eradicating the moth are personalising this and encouraging people to act irresponsibly in an effort to get up my nose. This is pathetic."

Mr Sutton also warned protestors that if they succeeded in "their perverse aims" of blocking the next aerial spray round with helium balloons near the flight path and tarpaulins over vegetation - they could be subjected to spraying every year.

Mr Ewen-Street said today he was dismayed the Minister could be so insensitive to the health and peace of mind of West Auckland residents. "People opposed to the spraying have the right to express their health concerns without being labelled 'pathetic' by a Minister of the Crown," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said that 8000 of the 160,000 people being sprayed would have an allergic reaction to Btk (the active ingredient in the spray) - based on Mr Sutton's estimate last night that 5 per cent of the population were allergic.

"That's 8000 too many," Mr Ewen-Street said, "but even that is an under-estimation of the health concerns, as Btk makes up only 3 per cent of the spray. Many more people may have reactions to the chemical cocktail that makes up the other 97 per cent. But residents can't have this investigated, as the Minister wrongly refuses to reveal the contents - arguing that intellectual property rights outweigh the public's right to know. No wonder West Aucklanders are protesting."


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