Open Letter regarding 1080 and brodifacoum Poisoning Events
Dear Prime Minister, and Ministers for Health, Environment, Food Safety, ACC and Worksafe
Please find attached a link to a Register of Unintended Poisoning Events caused or suspected to be caused by 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) and/or brodifacoum pest control poisons.
This register has been prepared by a group of citizens, and supported by Waikato Regional Councillor Kathy White, Ursula Edgington, Michelle Read and myself. We have undertaken this significant project due to concern about the until now mainly hidden risks to human and environmental health, clean water, food safety and integrity and New Zealand’s “Clean Green” image from the use of these poisons, and the apparent failure of poisoners or other decision-makers to review their use, or collate or consider incidents of harm arising from their use.
This Poisons Register records incidents that have been brought to our attention since January 2018. It includes 31 cases of suspected poisoning of humans and very large numbers of confirmed and suspected poisoning of protected wildlife, dogs, stock and wild game. There will no doubt be many other incidents still to be added.
It was triggered by the initial working diagnosis of the Waikato DHB and compelling evidence that the cause of the severe illness that hospitalised the Kochumman (“Not-Botulism”) family of Putaruru was 1080 poison, and the considerable public feedback arising out of that case.
As we were unable to locate any similar poisons register prepared by any government entity, we have created a community sourced Poisons Register. The information used is sourced from Parliamentary records, reports of the PCE, medical records, affidavit evidence, media records and other reliable sources.
We request and invite:
1. An agency of the NZ government to formally accept responsibly for publicising, maintaining and regularly updating this register;
2. Ensure up to date readily available information showing all locations in New Zealand where 1080 or brodifacoum poison have been used, or are intended to be used, to enable farmers, nearby residents, trampers, hunters and fishers, bee keepers and other members of the public to make informed decisions including about what water is safe to drink, what fish and game is safe to eat, and whether farmed stock can safety be certified for human consumption.
3. Develop a simple process for members of the public to formally report human, pet, stock or wildlife harm (whether historic or recent) attributed to 1080 or brodifacoum poisoning;
4. Undertake an urgent review of steps needed for landowners and poisoners to comply with all health and safety, landowner, public health, environmental and other obligations;
5. Urgently review the public interest or otherwise of the exemption for 1080 and brodifacoum poison created by the Resource Management Exemption Regulations 2017;
6. Urgently review public representations made by the Department of Conservation and other government authorities claiming 1080 is “biodegradable” and its breakdown products are “safe” when in fact its breakdown products sodium fluoride and the fluoride ion are toxic to humans and to ecosystems, and have been responsible for deaths, and acute and chronic illness.
7. Promote a forum for public education and conversation about the risks of 1080 and other poisons to humans, foetus, stock, wildlife and the food chain, and alternative approaches that better protect our water, integrity of our food sources, environmental health, tourism, food experts, economic interests and New Zealand’s clean green reputation.
We request under the OIA copies of any equivalent registers prepared by and/or relied on by you or any of your officials. If any such register is currently accessible to the public please could you provide the relevant link.
Councillor Kathy White and myself will be available on the steps of Parliament at 1pm today to meet with you and/or your advisors and to answer any questions. Please ring myself on 0226910586 or Kathy White 027343 9739 for further information.
Thank you for your interest in and attention to this serious matter.
Sue Grey LLB(Hons), BSc, RSHDipPHI