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Government Shift On The Elimination Of Dioxins

Government Shift On The Elimination Of Dioxins Welcomed By Greenpeace

21 November 2000, Auckland – Greenpeace has welcomed the apparent shift in government position on the aim to eliminate dioxins in regard to an international toxics treaty to eliminate twelve toxic chemicals, including DDT and dioxins.

The change of position came in an answer by Hon. Marian Hobbs, Minister for the Environment, to a question in parliament. The Minister stated that “The Government could perhaps consider a policy aim to eliminate dioxins in New Zealand…” .

“This is a significant step forward as it means New Zealand can now support the majority of nations in the global aim to eliminate dioxins”, said Sue Connor Greenpeace toxics campaigner. “The challenge now is to ensure that New Zealand does support the aim to eliminate dioxins without weakening the language. The aim is aspirational, much like New Zealand’s international aspirations for a world free of nuclear weapons”.

“New Zealand has been one of a small handful of countries who were refusing to the aim to eliminate dioxins in an international toxics treaty, said Connor. “If the New Zealand government does not change this regressive position, it could damage New Zealand’s clean green image as a food producer, especially as dioxins tend to accumulate in fatty foods such as diary products, meat and fish.”

Dioxins are some of the most dangerous chemicals known to humans. They are known to increase the incidence of all cancers and are linked to infertility, birth defects and diabetes.

“These chemicals are so dangerous that the only way to protect human health, the environment and future generations is to have an ultimate aim to eliminate them”, said Connor.

The New Zealand delegation will attend the final negotiating meeting on the toxics treaty between the 4th – 9th of December this year.

For more information contact Sue Connor Greenpeace Toxics campaigner (09) 630 6317 or 025 790 817

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