From Kathy White
I’ve spent the last few weeks reading the medical notes of the Kochumman family that was poisoned through eating wild boar, and my reading has worried me. Not just because of the vomiting, the inability to speak and the violent convulsions that required the family to be strapped to their hospital beds for weeks. But because the first working diagnosis by the registrar on the day the family was admitted to hospital was “consumption of meat containing poison used for possum/rodent killing ? neurotoxin ? 1080 ? strychnine poisoning which can produce a picture of lactic acidosis, nausea, vomiting, altered mental state and convulsions …. I cannot come up with an alternative pathology for raised lactate. May need to see if the police can test the meat for neurotoxins.”
1080 is repeated in the working diagnosis over and over again by different doctors over the weeks that the family was unconscious. Blood and urine samples had been taken. The curry that had been consumed had been given to the Medical Officer of Health, so why did no one test for 1080?
Instead a botulism antitoxin was quickly administered and the media was told that it was working. Does “working” mean the patients’ condition worsened? Because it did in fact worsen in almost all respects. A doctor said one patient’s condition had been worsening for 6/7 days. His inflammatory markers were sky high, his CK (creatine kinase) reaching 5000. The ADDS system confirmed the patient’s deteriorating condition. Clearly my understanding of the “botulism antitoxin working” is different to that of the DHB. Many people, including the international Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), advised that this wasn’t likely to be botulism. Doctors kept recording 1080 poison in the working diagnosis, but 1080 tests were not done on the food, on the patients’ vomit, stomach contents, or blood.
Finally, the patients’ urine was tested for 1080, 18 days after hospitalisation. Possibly coincidentally, the 1080 tests were done a week after the DHB received an Official Information Act request asking for the toxicology results from this case. Unfortunately the Landcare Research protocol for testing 1080 in urine requires that it be tested within two days of the sample being taken, so the negative result is less than reliable. The timing of the 1080 test and its lack of compliance with the protocol was not disclosed to the media. In contrast, full botulism tests were done on the patients and on the food and these all came back negative. So did a range of other tests for substances that were far less likely than 1080.
The New Zealand government owns the factory that manufactures 1080 baits for pest control. Government agencies spread these baits aerially and DO NOT remove the poisoned carcasses that are scavenged by wild pigs. We have a duty of care to not only do pest control in a way that minimises harm to the food chain, but also to put people’s welfare first. The least we can do is test for 1080 when people are convulsing on a hospital bed and doctors agree that the symptoms indicate 1080 poisoning.
Look at the medical notes, and decide for yourself in the video called DHB coverup – Politics before patient welfare for wild boar poisoned family. https://youtu.be/j6i4pZ5RYI4
Kathy White is the Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua. This is her personal view.