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Baldock's calls for moth-spraying inquiry

Baldock's calls for moth-spraying health inquiry get results

United Future biosecurity and environment spokesman Larry Baldock said today that he was delighted the inquiry he had been calling for into the health effects of the West Auckland painted apple month spraying programme would now take place.

"I've been asking the Government for months to put an inquiry in place, and although this comes a little late for those who have suffered various health problems, it is better late than never," Mr Baldock said. The independent inquiry will take oral and written submissions and file its findings to the Department of Health.

Mr Baldock has made several visits to Auckland in recent months over this issue and consistently called for an inquiry into the impact of the spraying on the health of the people in the spray zone. "I've been there and talked to these people and seen first hand the impact it is having on people's lives and health.

"More recently, I've become aware of the informal surveys through schools on the impact it is having on children," Mr Baldock said.

This has also added extra costs to school budgets, with relieving teachers required when staff are ill, something that has likely been seen in other work places too, he said.

He said the Government had previously set aside $10 million for dealing with the health impact of the spraying, but it was important that this money was used for much more than a handful of MAF-provided doctors visits for people in the area.

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