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Today is No Pesticide Day to Commemorate Bhopal

West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying (WASP)

Today is No Pesticide Day to Commemorate Bhopal

Helen Wiseman-Dare, Chairperson, WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying) said today that the practice of aerial spraying of pesticides over urban populations by governments to control unwanted insects must stop.

There have been widespread reports of adverse health effects in people and their animals since aerial spraying of Foray 48B to eradicate the Painted Apple Moth began over west Auckland suburbs in January this year.

Aerial spraying was the least effective of any insect control or eradication method especially in the case of the Painted Apple Moth, she said. In spite of nearly a year of aerial spraying over the Waikumete Cemetery in west Auckland, for example, life stages of the moth were still being found there plus new infestations outside the spray zone.

Ms Wiseman-Dare said bird and insect populations have been wiped out or severely depressed by Btk spraying campaigns both here and overseas and target insects have been known to develop resistance to Btk which meant that more toxic pesticides may have to be used in the future.

The damage caused to people's health and the environment by the spray far outweighed any damage that could be expected from the moth. The long term effects of releasing such massive amounts of Btk into the environment are unknown and no testing has ever been done to determine the long term effects of Btk on human health, she said.

She believes it is imperative that the government invests money urgently into finding safe, non-toxic methods of insect control which do not involve aerial spraying of urban populations, especially in light of the growing globalisation of trade and global warming which are seeing an increase in the numbers of unwanted organisms reaching our shores. MAF estimates that 50 new organisms will arrive here each year (NZ Herald 28/9/02).

WASP (West Aucklanders Against Aerial Spraying) Ph: 09 827 2516

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