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Govt suppression of spray report "scandalous"

18 April, 2004

Govt suppression of spray report "scandalous"

Green MP Sue Kedgley today condemned the Government and Ministry of Health officials for trying to suppress a report that questions the safety of the Foray 48B spray being used in West Auckland until after they had completed their spraying run.

Ms Kedgley, the Green Party Health spokesperson, said this Tuesday's spray run must be called off and demanded that the report, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, be publicly released immediately.

"Frankly it's scandalous that the Government has deliberately suppressed a report because it doesn't like the conclusion it has reached," said Ms Kedgley. "Tuesday's spray must be halted and the report published immediately so everyone has the opportunity to consider its findings.

"It is appalling that Jim Sutton, a Government minister, appears willing to jeopardise public health and has sought to cover up vital information that calls into question the safety of this chemical aerial spray. This is the sort of behaviour you would expect from a dictatorship, not a democracy."

Ms Kedgley said that the Painted Apple Moth programme must focus on ground spraying, and not subjecting the residents of West Auckland to a blanket-spraying programme that presents an obvious health risk.

"The report shows that aerial spraying results in the spray being deeply inhaled as bioaerosol particles. This is likely to cause short-term respiratory and other health problems residents have consistently complained of.

"Even more worrying are the long term effects which this report demonstrates have not been investigated. Its unethical to carpet-spray a large urban population with a substance that the Government can no longer claim is safe."

ENDS

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