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1080 poisoned trout risk much greater than first declared

In 2016 the Ministry for Primary Industries released a warning to trout fishermen recommending not to eat trout from 1080 poisoned rivers for at least 7 days. https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/whats-in-our-food/chemicals-and-food/poison-residues-in-food-animals/1080/ In its report it stated “MPI is of the opinion that any food safety risk can be mitigated if anglers are advised to avoid consuming trout from waterways in a 1080 drop area within seven days of the baiting operation.”

To help form its opinion the MPI relied on data from a 2014 Cawthron Institute research paper which investigated the uptake and elimination of 1080 poison in trout http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/conservation/threats-and-impacts/animal-pests/cawthron-report-1080-uptake-trout.pdf

However, when analysed (in the video clip below), the information contained in the Cawthron report is at odds with what the MPI is recommending. The Cawthron trout study was ended after 5 days, when the number of trout set aside for testing were depleted, and while there were still high levels of poison measured in the last of the poison-dosed trout.

It is also stated in the Cawthron Report that the trout were given extremely high doses of 1080 poison. That statement is misleading. The trout were given the equivalent poison of that contained in just one half of a small sized, 6 gram bait. Most baits used in aerial operations are 12 grams, so the trout were given the equivalent poison of that contained in just ¼ of a standard sized cereal pellet.

Despite the low doses given to the trout, the poison appears to have contaminated one of the control fish. In figure two on page five of the Cawthron paper, and the Landcare Research 1080 test results show that there were three control fish when the study was ended, and that one of the control fish contained 1080 poison residues 30 times higher than the Maximum Residue Limit set for pesticides in foods.

It becomes apparent that the MPI warning was based on incomplete, and erroneous information. In the following video clip, which also analyses the Cawthron trout report, Brett Power demonstrates why trout fishermen should be far more cautious when consuming trout from poisoned forests and streams. To view the video clip, copy and paste this link to your browser … https://youtu.be/vEUquwYuYTM


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