“Waikato Regional Council will undertake the independent review.“ NZ Herald.
This is all very in-house isn’t it? Not unlike how the Police investigate themselves. Or how Monsanto long ago in the 1970s tested Roundup themselves for safety. Also a bit like asking the second hand car dealer to check over the car you are looking to purchase.
Dr Meriel Watts appealed to Environment Waikato (now Waikato Regional Council, WRC) in 2010 to desist from the use of 1080 as they considered the issuing of up to 20 year consents for aerial dispersal of the said product:
“Re: EPRO and EcoFX Resource Consent Applications
Dear Mr Laing,
I am writing to you on behalf of Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand to express our profound opposition to Environment Waikato’s anachronistic proposal to allow 10- or 20-year resource consents to EPROand EcoFX to aerially disperse 1080 in the region.
As you are no doubt aware, 1080 is classed by the World Health Organisation as an Extremely Hazardous pesticide (Class 1a WHO). You may not be aware that as such it falls within the category of Highly Hazardous Pesticides for which the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is seeking a global phase out.
That Environment Waikato is contemplating 10 or 20 year consents to use, let alone aerially disperse, 1080, when a UN agency is promoting a global phase out of all such pesticides is extraordinary. I can only assume that you officers are not aware of the situation.
To issue consents of 10 or more years duration also flies in the face of ERMA’s concern about such on-going widespread dispersal of 1080 in the environment, and their support for more research into alternatives. There will be no room for introduction of alternatives in the EW region if these consents are granted.”
1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals. There are so many recorded instances that there is no need to elaborate on them here. Nor the fact that the suffering of these animals on the way to death is extremely inhumane.
That New Zealand has such a history of poisoning its indigenous species, livestock and companion animals is a shame we have to live with. But we do not need to perpetuate it. Thankfully the era of poisoning everything we don’t like is passing, and intelligent new, targeted approaches to pest management are taking its place.
It is time now for Environment Waikato to move forward with the rest of the world, and introduce alternatives. Trapping has been shown to be an effective method of controlling possums, at the same time utilising a valuable resource for the benefit of the national economy, and trapping technology is continually improving. On the other hand, years of experience of 1080 dispersal has shown that this approach is not sustainable, it has to be repeated at regular intervals, each time with its negative consequences for the environment.
Pesticide Action Network therefore urges you to reject the idea of extended resource consents for aerial dispersal of 1080, and to instead focus your resources on rapid introduction of sustainable, environmentally friendly, and socially supportive alternatives such as trapping.
Meriel Watts, PhD,
Pesticide Action Network
When a PHD & author of 2 well known books* on the effects of poisons on human beings & environments, takes the time to warn those who are mandating widespread poisoning of the environment of the dangers therein, you would think that that authority would heed the warning. But no, not only have they continued dropping 1080, it increases yearly. And the rules have even been changed so that 1080 can be delivered straight into waterways without a consent from council!
Indeed since that time the Government itself has been busy making the product for the country (NZ) that was already using 80% or thereabouts of the world’s supply. Cleverly re branding it to make its image slightly more palatable to the non questioning public.
We are expected to now believe that an investigation into this recent incident involving the death of 8 cows (including aborted calves) by the very organization that is not only a branch of the same tree and pro 1080, will be independent?
They are all under the same Government umbrella! DoC, Regional Council, Orillion. May as well save themselves the time, money & effort because we can fairly safely bet on what the outcome will be.
*(The Poisoning of New Zealand, 1994 – and – Pesticides and Breast Cancer, 2007)