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Study shows aerial spraying must stop

27 April 2004

Study shows aerial spraying must stop

Green Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley called for the planned aerial spraying of Foray 48B over the residents of West Auckland on May 11 to be called off in light of findings in a report by public health academics released today.

"Waitakere City Council and the Minister of Health have statutory responsibilities under the Public Health Act to protect their community from public health risks. MAF must call off it's spraying programme, or risk further endangering Auckland residents," said Ms Kedgley.

Ms Kedgley said the report throws a serious question mark over the safety of the spray programme, and shows that the spray is more toxic when inhaled. "It demonstrates that MAF and ERMA's claim that the spray is safe is based on false and erroneous assumptions," she said.

Ms Kedgley said the bio-aerosol effect, which makes the spray more toxic when inhaled, "is the smoking gun that links the spray to the symptoms people have repeatedly complained of."

"Residents were right all along, even though officials repeatedly dismissed their claims."

"There is a lot of overseas research that shows aerial spraying causes respiratory and other illnesses as a result of inhalation, but neither MAF nor ERMA considered this evidence. It is essential that this evidence is investigated before any further aerial spraying takes place."

"ERMA, who approved the spray, have a lot to answer for. And MAF, who dumped it on residents, need to be held to account."

Ms Kedgley said it was shocking that the Minister of Agriculture had sought to discredit and suppress a report that was written by very reputable public health academics.

"Now that the report has been released, the government must direct ERMA to review the safety, of both the population being sprayed and the workers who are using it.

"In the meantime it should stop its aerial spray programme and move to ground spraying in populated areas until it is certain that the spray does not pose a significant health risk to West Aucklanders."


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