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Government Whitewash True Impact of Dioxin

Government Whitewash True Impact of Dioxin Defects at Paritutu

Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru

“The report released today by the Ministry of Health into cancer rates in New Plymouth is nothing more than a sham” stated Tariana Turia, Member of Parliament for Te Tai Hauauru.

Last September a report released by that same Ministry confirmed that the Ivon Dow Watkins plant at Paritutu was one of the largest historical polluters in New Zealand.

“Constituents of Te Tai Hauauru have repeatedly asked the Government to take seriously the health problems that have resulted from dioxin contamination, including birth defects, behavioural problems, diabetes and a strong association between exposure to dioxin and cancer risk” stated Mrs Turia.

“I recall in my previous role as Associate Minister of Health that the Health Ministry provided us with advice in February 2001, that for any study to be valid, one would have to identify the actual residents who were exposed and track them down”.

“The fact that the Ministry has shunned that advice and now generalised the study to the entire New Plymouth population makes today’s report at best mis-leading, and at worst a complete waste of time”.

“We are talking about a period of thirty years of neglect” stated Mrs Turia. “A responsible approach would have tracked down the families who were exposed at key periods in the seventies. Many of these families have now shifted away, but the impact of their compromised health will remain”.

“The Government owes it to these people, and their descendants, to put in place a study which is both epidemiologically and scientifically valid”.

“Furthermore, the very least that these families want is effective health care and recognition of the disasterous impact of the Dow facility”.

“Both soil samples from residental properties in Paritutu, and blood serum samples from those exposed, have tested positive for TCDD with levels similar to those suffered in Vietnam” said Mrs Turia.

“We must not minimise the life-changing impact of this disaster” stated Mrs Turia.

ENDS

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