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WHO dioxin review to examine new claims

WHO dioxin review to examine new claims

Concerns over apparent errors in a report on dioxin exposure in Paritutu will be assessed by the expert recommended by the World Health Organisation to review the study, Health Minister Pete Hodgson said today.

At a public meeting in New Plymouth last night concerns were raised over what appear to be errors in Appendix O of the Paritutu study.

The terms of reference of the review will be amended to ask the reviewer to consider the seriousness of the apparent error and its impact on the original study.

"These concerns were brought to my attention in good faith and as a result they deserve thorough consideration," Pete Hodgson said.

"The WHO recommended reviewer has not completed her report and will be asked to consider the apparent error and any implications it may have.

"I am concerned, however, that discussions around process issues have the potential to distract all of us from the real issues at hand. It is a matter of fact that the Ministry of Health accepts that Paritutu residents were exposed to dioxin.

"While we need to address concerns about the study, we should also ask the question of whether local people should be offered targeted health services. We need to focus more of our energy on the way forward."

ENDS

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