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Getting Ruth-Less With Painted Apple Moth

The Soil & Health Association supports the calls for the sacking of Ruth Frampton as head of the Painted Apple Moth Eradication, and the call for an inquiry into the running of the operation.

The Painted Apple Moth Community Advisory Group in West Auckland has called for Dr Frampton's dismissal because of her handling of the so-called eradication programme.

"We are appalled at the way this operation has been handled, allowing the moth to multiply and spread into the Waitakere Ranges" said Dr Meriel Watts, Director of the Association. "We have no confidence in Dr Frampton¹s handling of the eradication programme"

If MAF had used Btk in their ground spraying operations 2 years ago, the moth would have been eradicated by now. Instead Frampton chose to use Decis, a synthetic pyrethroid that is much more toxic to human health and is also lethal in the marine environment. So they couldn¹t spray the trees in the riparian margins of the Waitemata Harbour and Whau Creek - and that¹s where the moth populations have exploded. These areas have acted as a breeding ground for the moths to set forth and colonise other areas.

"We are appalled that MAF proposes to conduct aerial spraying over parts of West Auckland before releasing a Health Risk Assessment, still only in draft form and not available to the public."

"Finally we are appalled by the continued failure of Dr Frampton to work with the Community Advisory Group in West Auckland. She has repeatedly been asked to provide data to this group, and to involve it in the technical and health advisory groups but has failed to do so. She has treated the community with disdain".

Soil & Health supports the community desire to see the moth eradicated, but not at the expense of the communities health.

"That is why we have been asking MAF for so long to replace the synthetic pyrethroid in their ground spraying operations with the more environmentally friendly Btk" said Dr Watts.


1. Dr Watts is a member of the Community Advisory Group for the painted Apple Moth, representing the interests of the members of the Soil & Health Association that live in west Auckland.

2. She was also a member of both the Community Advisory Group and the Science Advisory panel for the successful White Spotted Tussock Moth Eradication in east Auckland.

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