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Moth Spray Study may never be publicly released


April 18th 2004

Outrage as Minister suggests leaked Moth Spray Study may never be publicly released

There is disbelief in the West Auckland community today at the news that the long-awaited Painted Apple Moth Health Study by the Wellington School of Medicine may never be publicly released.

Representatives of the PAM Community Network in West Auckland are outraged at published comments from the Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton, who has condemned the Study as flawed, unsound and biased.

Hana Blackmore, author of one of the published PAM Reports in 2003 that provoked the Health Ministry into commissioning the independent study of the spray effects, said the Minister's comments were unbelievable and deeply worrying.

"That the Minister should comment on a Report he has not read is bad enough, but to suggest that it not be published because he does not like the result, is outrageous."

Hana said that further confirmation of the Minister's inability and unwillingness to deal with the unpalatable truth of aerial spraying urban communities comes from recent Official Information Act material obtained by Sue Berman of Stop Aerial Spraying (SAS).

Sue Berman believes the OIA materials shows the Ministry of Health, MAF and Public Health Officials have sought to delay and cover up the findings of the report

"The PAM Health Report is still sitting with the Ministry, in spite of the fact that it was supposed to have been released in September 2003. This is completely unacceptable," said Ms Berman.

"While the Health Ministry plays "pass the parcel" with the Report, thousands of people in West Auckland are still getting sprayed, and still having to endure the impacts, dislocation and health effects of an aerial campaign now well into it's third year."

Whilst the PAM Community Network is demanding that the spraying be halted and the Study published immediately, representatives believe the Minister will continue to repress the Report until the aerial spraying operation is completed in May.

"By that time," Says Hana, "the Minister will be able to say it is all irrelevant anyway, as 'the spraying is over'. It is difficult not to be cynical".

ENDS

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