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Greens tell Health Minister to go and get sprayed

Greens tell Health Minister to go and get sprayed

The Green Party is challenging Health Minister Annette King to go to Hamilton and stand in the spray path of the aircraft dousing residents with the toxic chemical cocktail Foray 48B.

Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says she wants Ms King to show the unwilling victims of the spray programme against the Asian Gypsy Moth that she has total personal confidence in its safety.

"If she won't, Ms King should not expect the tens of thousands of New Zealanders - in Hamilton and Auckland - to do what she is not prepared to do.

"I challenge Ms King to stand outside directly in the spray path, not just once, but every time the spraying takes place, so she gets a feel for what the residents are going through. She should be showing leadership," Ms Kedgley said.

"So far, it has been Hamilton, and East and West Auckland, to get the spray treatment. Where will it be next? There is already talk of extending the spraying to South Auckland.

"How many people have to suffer health problems from the spray before the Government accepts it should be using a pheromone-based moth trapping programme first, with any moths found initially treated with ground-spraying."

The Health Ministry yesterday [9 October] released a report on the human health considerations of the aerial spraying of Foray 48B against the Asian Gypsy Moth in Hamilton. The ministry said the report found there were no grounds to prevent the spray programme beginning on Wednesday [8 October].

"The report appears to be an utterly superficial and feeble review of existing information," Ms Kedgley said.

"It is extraordinary that the ministry acknowledges there is still some work to be completed before the report is finalised, on specific estimates on effects to the Waikato population, yet the spraying is going ahead regardless," Ms Kedgley said.

"If it is okay to spray Hamiltonians before research is even finished, the Health Minister should get out there, show support and solidarity, and get sprayed herself."

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