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Minister’s claims on 1080 misleading - Copeland

Thursday, 31st July 2008

Minister’s claims on 1080 misleading - Copeland

Independent MP Gordon Copeland today stated that Minister of Conservation Steve Chadwick’s comments around the safety of 1080 when dropped from the air are misleading.

“Yesterday during parliamentary Question Time, the Minister stated that 1080 breaks down once it is mixed with water,” said Mr Copeland “She went on to say that that is why no levels of 1080 beyond acceptable limits have ever been found in drinking water.”

“What the Minister fails to mention, however, is that the breakdown of 1080 occurs when the water is at a temperature of at least 21˚C. That is altogether different from the reality that when large quantities of 1080 are dropped over hundreds of hectares of the New Zealand bush, then pellets find their way into thousands of streams and rivers, none of which, in the winter, have a water temperature of anything like 21˚C!”

“The Minister’s comments about drinking water are also misleading. Trampers and hunters etc do of course drink water whilst in the bush but perhaps of greater concern is the fact that watercress is routinely harvested for food on the fringes of densely bushed areas throughout New Zealand.”

“The labelling on 1080 clearly states ‘repeated oral exposure may cause reproductive or developmental damage’ and I for one have seen reports linking exposure to this poison to foetal abnormalities.”

“I don’t know about you, but I for one believe that the Minister’s bland assurances are simply unacceptable when we are dealing here with a human health risk. What we need is rigorous, scientific analysis and until that occurs, I will continue to call for a complete ban on the aerial application of 1080 poison.”


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