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Greenpeace Welcomes Agreement to Eliminate Poisons

Greenpeace Welcomes International Agreement to Eliminate Poisons

Auckland - Last night's announcement by the Minister for the Environment that the Stockholm Convention on deadly poisons will come into force in May is welcomed by Greenpeace New Zealand.

"If implemented properly, the Stockholm Convention - which aims to eliminate poisons that lead to cancers and reproductive disorders - will have a beneficial impact on our environment and everybody living in New Zealand", said Greenpeace toxics campaigner, Mere Takoko.

New Zealand was notably absent from the first fifty parties to the Convention however, they intend to ratify before May. While New Zealand has appropriate bans on many of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), they are yet to put in place a plan for the elimination of dioxins.

"Greenpeace welcomes the New Zealand Government's imminent ratification of the Stockholm Convention. However the Government must not sidestep the Convention's ultimate aim of eliminating dioxins. There is no proven safe level of dioxins", said Ms Takoko.

"The entry into force of the Stockholm Convention is a testimony to decades of pressure by environmental, indigenous and health organizations to ensure governments and chemical industries address these deadly chemicals."

Dioxins are extremely toxic chemicals that persist in our bodies and the environment for long periods of time. They are known to cause cancer, birth defects and endometriosis.

The treaty has the ultimate aim of elimination of 12 of the worst POPs.

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