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Federated Farmers Press Conference on the 1080 Threat

Federated Farmers Press Conference on the 1080 Threat

A press conference was held today at Federated Farmers headquarters in Wellington to discuss threats of 1080 poisoning in milk powder.

The Chief Executive of Federated Farmers, Graham Smith, was the recipient of a letter which contained sachets of milk powder that later tested positive for 1080.

The letter was received in November 2014 and was immediately passed on to the Police who have been conducting an investigation into the source.

Dr. William Rolleston, National President of Federated Farmers sampling of milk products at Fonterra plants for 1080 began in December 2014.

Federated Farmers have sent a list to the police containing names of people involved in the 1080 debate. “We don’t have anyone in particular,” said Dr. Rolleston, “only people who had written to us or were on our radar.”

“Farmers in general are outraged and angry as the rest of New Zealand are,” said Dr. Rolleston.

Dr. Rolleston suspected that Federated Farmers were targeted because they represent the farming community and “the use 1080 is used to reduce possum numbers to control the spread of TB [Bovine Tuberculosis] across the country”

Dr. Rolleston stressed the “difference between getting hold of a small amount of product (1080) and putting it in a small sachet, and getting hold of enough product to cause damage in the marketplace”. This would be extremely difficult due to 1080 access being highly controlled in New Zealand.

Federated Farmers have had ongoing regular briefings with the Police since November and have also advised their members to be alert for any possible tampering with their milk products.

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