Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Not Fit For Purpose - Scientists Exposing Pesticide Testing

Media Release: For Immediate Release: 19 December 2019

Not Fit For Purpose - Scientists Exposing New Zealand’s Pesticide Testing

A modern, independent laboratory’s toxicology report from dead wildlife collected from a beach in South Island has highlighted how the Government’s pesticide testing regimes are not fit for purpose.

On November 9th, 2019, one week after a Department of Conservation (DOC) aerial 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) poison operation 140 kms upstream, torrential rainfall caused dead wildlife to be washed down the flooded Buller River. Hundreds of potentially toxic carcasses of rats, a goat, birds and numerous aquatic species were strewn across the beach at Westport, South Island. Carcasses were collected by volunteers and two non-profit environmental groups, Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa and Clean Green New Zealand Trust commissioned an independent toxicological analysis of samples. DOC also sent samples to its Government-funded laboratories at Massey University and Manaaki Whenua – Landcare.

The results from the independent laboratory, showed positive traces of the toxic chemical fluorocitrate in the dead wildlife, in addition to traces of fluoroacetate and the green pigment from the poison bait pellets.

Toxicology results from the Government laboratory were published on DOC’s website, claiming the carcasses were not toxic. However, DOCs statement is implausible because the methodology used by Manaaki Whenua - Landcare is over 30 years old (1). Over the 65 years of aerial 1080 poisoning operations, the New Zealand Government has ensured that only Government-funded laboratories may undertake any testing of potentially contaminated drinking-water, food or wildlife. DOC’s instructions to Landcare to use a method that is not fit-for-purpose, means that the major toxic agent from 1080 poison, fluorocitrate, repeatedly goes undetected (2). Professor Ian Shaw, toxicologist at the University of Canterbury told journalists he was curious about why the Government testing didn’t include fluorocitrate.

“The flaws in DOC’s testing calls into question all previous risk assessments and test results carried out by Government laboratories: water, food, wildlife and human cases of potential poisoning.” said Di Maxwell, Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa representative.

Valid pesticide residue testing requires high-level expertise and modern technology; knowledge about the presence and the potential harm from trace chemicals has increased exponentially over recent decades. “A miniscule amount of some pesticides, particularly endocrine disrupting chemicals, can cause serious harm. Because these tests are not fit-for-purpose, the long-term impacts on public health from a sub-lethal dose of 1080 poison are unknown.” said Frank Rowson, retired veterinary surgeon and pesticide researcher.

Dr Wall of Ideas Lab, a highly-qualified UK scientist of complex chemical analysis, who conducted the independent tests, runs successful international businesses that draw on high quality skills and cutting edge technologies. He initially wanted to remain anonymous due to receiving threats in the past; however his identity has since been made public. Dr Wall also has serious concerns about the inadequate testing for pesticide residues in NZ Government-funded laboratories and is consulting with international colleagues on the issue.

The two non-profit NGOs that commissioned the testing are currently working with national and international scientists to ensure further pesticide testing continues. They call for an immediate moratorium on the use of aerial 1080 poison and a thorough independent investigation into DOCs testing policies.

(1) Ozawa H, Tsukioka T 1987. Gas chromatographic determination of sodium monofluoroacetate in water by derivatization with dicyclohexylcarbodiimide. Analytical Chemistry 59: 2914–2917.
(2)
(3) Fluoroacetate is metabolised in the presence of aerobic life. The risks from secondary poisoning means that some of the victims would likely have consumed carrion that has already metabolised fluoroacetate into fluorocitrate.
(4)
Note to Journalists: Sodium Monofluoroacetate (Compound 1080) is a highly toxic, inhumane, synthetic metabolic poison. It has no antidote. It is unlicensed in many countries. The sublethal effects of the poison on humans are largely unknown (other than some deductions from animal models, accidental poisonings and suicide attempts). 1080 is a proven endocrine disruptor and impacts upon the body’s major organs. It is manufactured in the USA by Tull Chemicals and transported to New Zealand’s two Government-owned poison bait factories, where it is stored in a watery solution before being mixed with cereal or other substances perceived to be attractive to ‘pest’ species (e.g. rats and possums). Tonnes of poison baits are regularly and systematically distributed via helicopters over thousands of hectares of New Zealand’s land and waterways – including drinking water catchments. For over 65 years of this practice New Zealanders have voiced their increasing concern about the negative impact of this indiscriminate poisoning, not only on wildlife, but domestic animals and humans too, from contamination of the food chain. Clean Green New Zealand and Flora and Fauna of Aotearoa are collating and recording evidence of the inevitable regular unintended consequences of these poisoning operations. To date, there has been no independent studies of the claimed safety or ‘effectiveness’ of this policy and no epidemiological research has been undertaken.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Risk Of Being Short Changed By Pfizer

Who knew that the delivery of the Covid vaccines was going to be such a headache? All the predictions had been around the likely distribution problems. Would there be enough trained vaccinators around the country, a sufficient number of medical glass vials, a sufficiently robust “cold chain” to safely store the vaccines out in the field? All those issues remain. Currently though, production and delivery concerns are also hovering over whether the drug companies will live up to their contractual commitments, on time... More>>

 

National: Leader Of The Opposition’s State Of The Nation Speech

Kia ora and thank you for that welcome. It is a pleasure to be here. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Auckland and the EMA for hosting me at this first event in your centenary year. National and Rotary share many common principles, including community ... More>>

ALSO:

Ministry Of Health: Probable Case Of COVID-19 In A Returnee

The Ministry of Health is investigating a positive test result in a person who recently travelled from overseas and completed their stay in managed isolation in a facility in Auckland. In the case we are investigating and reporting today, the person had ... More>>


ALSO:


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>

ALSO:

USA: Prime Minister Congratulates President Joe Biden On His Inauguration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: New Zealand And China Sign FTA Upgrade

Trade Ministers for New Zealand and China today signed an upgrade to the free trade agreement between the two countries. “This modernises our free trade agreement and ensures it will remain fit for purpose for another decade,” Minister for Trade ... More>>

Oxfam NZ: Wealth Of New Zealand’s Richest Person’s Soars By $3.4bn Since Beginning Of Pandemic

New Zealand’s richest citizen, Graeme Hart, has seen his fortune increase by NZ$3,494,333,333 since March 2020 – a sum equivalent to over half a million New Zealanders receiving a cheque for NZ$6,849 each, reveals a new analysis from Oxfam today. The New Zealand ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels