Opinion by Ken Sims, Life member NZ Federation Freshwater Anglers
The recently published article showing 65 percent of our rivers are “unswimmable” in a country of just 5 million people, should remind government that that the continuing state of New Zealand’s rivers is a national calamity. It is a disgraceful, shameful reflection on the failure of successive governments to remedy a water crisis that has been worsening over decades. The report stated that the criteria used “looks only at bacteria levels.” Even there, we have one of the highest rates of zoonoses in the developed world. A zoonosis is an infectious disease that has passed from an animal to humans. Such pathogens may be bacterial, viral or parasitic, and can spread to humans through direct contact or through food, water or the environment. They represent a major public health problem around the world due to humans’ close relationship with animals in agriculture, exacerbated by large, concentrated populations. New Zealand’s water crisis goes far deeper. We also have one of the highest rates of sediment runoff, which smothers all life in a waterway. Sediment runoff is accelerated by land uses such as intensive agriculture and forestry clear felling, the latter immediately exposing the bare soil to subsequent rain.
(NaturalHealth365) Threats to health – including exposure to environmental toxins, heavy metals, EMF radiation, bacteria and viruses – seem to be everywhere these days, highlighting the need for a strong, efficient immune system. And, with 80 percent of the immune system located in the gut, it’s easy to see that immune health and gut health are closely connected.
In fact, scientific research showcases the ability of a natural molecule, glutathione, to support the health of the immune system. But, this amazing substance must be effectively regenerated and recycled by the body before it can accomplish its life-sustaining tasks. Let’s take a closer look at this important topic.
Viruses, Epidemics and Experiments: The History of Biological Warfare – The use of bacteria, viruses and other biological agents as weapons of war has a long and gut-wrenching history. Despite some early examples, it was not until the 20th century that biological warfare truly became scientifically callous. During the First World War, the German military was a notable practitioner of this art of warfare. The Japanese were particularly interested in this area of warfare, intensifying their efforts through the Second World War. One of the most prominent advocates of the use of biowarfare was the Japanese Surgeon General and microbiologist, Shiro Ishii, who went on to head the central unit of Imperial Japan’s biological warfare programme during WWII: Unit 731, which was based in occupied China. As part of their biowarfare program, the Japanese army tested a minimum of 25 biological agents on civilians and prisoners of war, with operations including the poisoning of over 1,000 Chinese water wells with typhus and cholera, and dropping fleas infested with plague on Chinese cities. At least thousands of people were killed by this programme, with some even arguing that approximately 200,000 Chinese were killed. What makes all of this worst however is that fact that the US government gave immunity to many of these Japanese biowarfare officers in exchange for getting the data from the Japanese biological warfare programme, akin to Operation Paperclip. There are also numerous examples of militaries conducting biological warfare experiments on their own, unsuspecting citizens. Aside from civilians being used as guinea pigs by biowarfare units, biological warfare programmes can also pose another risk to civilians: in the form of pathogens accidently escaping from biowarfare facilities.
an interview by Tim Lynch with Professor Don Huber for greenplanetfm
Don Huber who has just been here in NZ is also a former Colonel of the U.S. Army Reserves Bioterrorism Research Unit. He has taught courses on anti-crop bioterrorism and serves as a consultant on biological weapons of mass destruction and emerging diseases. He advises U.S. agencies on bioterrorism and biological warfare. He also goes by his word – that Glyphosate is a ‘Trojan Horse’.
Professor Emeritus Don Huber, formerly of Purdue University states that there are three facts that everyone needs to understand about GE or GMOs:
despite what the media and so-called “experts” proclaim, there are NO peer-reviewed scientific papers establishing the safety of GMO crops
epidemiological patterns show there’s an identical rise in over 30 human diseases correlated with our increased usage of glyphosate and the increased prevalence of genetically engineered proteins in our food, and
genetically engineered foods, as well as conventional crops that are heavily sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup), have lower nutrient density than organic foods.
Don Huber who spoke with me at the PlanetFM studios two months ago, here in Auckland opens with the statement that NZ farmland is still basically free of GE and GMO’s and relatively unpolluted with its attendant spray – glyphosate, however he states we need to make sure GMO’s don’t breach our borders, and that we need to keep NZ – GE Free and to make every effort to scale back our use of glyphosate – urgently.
The Manawatu has earned us the dubious honour of being the most polluted river in the Southern Hemisphere. Anybody who remembers the quality of our waterways from the 1950s through to the 80s or thereabouts, will remember long summers spent swimming unhampered by any need to check the water quality before taking a dip. Didn’t matter if you swallowed a mouthful or two, it was clean and healthy. Not so any more.
Only 40% of our rivers now are deemed safe to swim in. The rest are safe to wade in only. And why is this? Well I recently read a warning stating it was not safe to swim following floods, that being due to the run off from surrounding farms … pesticides, fertilizers, animal faeces and urine, the unmentionable dirty word, ‘glyphosate’ and whatever other herbicide the farmer uses that is deemed perfectly harmless. (Most farmers I know have told me “roundup’s very mild” and they’re generally not inclined to want to listen to the data about the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate, acknowledged recently by WHO who said that it ‘probably causes cancer’). Anyway we are advised if we’re intending to swim in our local river spot, to go online and check the various LG websites for the quality of the water on the day.
Recently during a spell of unrest about the state of our swimming holes as folk were catching on to the level of pollution we have, we had a publicity stunt by Nats Nick Smith, Jono Naylor and Ian McKelvie, those governmental (corporate) reps of ours who strive to convince us the severely polluted Manawatu is all safe as houses. It was a very quick dip and wouldn’t have fooled too many. The public awareness of water quality (or lack thereof) is somewhat heightened these days, thanks especially to social media. Our corporate owned media is now treading carefully the fine line of not upsetting the powers that be … lest they also be short of a job.
WHAT IS POLLUTING THE RIVER?
* Farm runoff from fertilisers, and animal waste such as cow dung and urine, leach into the river.
* Treated sewage discharged by councils
* Treated industrial effluent including wastewater from Fonterra, New Zealand Pharmaceuticals, Tui Brewery
* Sediment washing into the river from overgrazed farms or eroding countryside alters the natural habitat for native bugs or fish [stuff.co.nz]
The Double Speak of Local Government
There is, however, a very murky, seldom mentioned side to the Manawatu River. I watched recently, a video by Horowhenua District Councillor (now Mayor) Michael Feyen. Feyen, who cares passionately about the environment and protecting it, has filmed some very interesting videos demonstrating the extent of the pollution of the Manawatu and Horowhenua waterways by the District Council (sewage discharge), industry and farming practices. His colleague Cr Ross Campbell has filmed similar and subsequently been trespassed for two years by his own Council, illustrative of how little DCs truly abide by the sustainable practices that they espouse on their websites nationwide. A note here, I am not anti farming … it’s really about genuinely using sustainable practices which includes for one, the adequate fencing of waterways so stock don’t trample the waterways. It’s also about local government making rules that reflect sustainable practices … and enforcing them.
“Toe the line and deny any pollution by the HDC was the clear message given by Mayor Brendan Duffy to Horowhenua District Councillors” Mrs Anne Hunt (former HDC Cr)
For fuller coverage of the event surrounding the alleged discharge of raw sewage into Shannon’s waterways by the DC, and the subsequent assault of a local environmental activist (this is how serious the issue has become) go HERE. Local iwi, Ngati Whakatere have been vocal about this pollution for some time now.
See also the statements of a whistleblower, Mrs Anne Hunt, an former Councillor who tells of the lengths the Horowhenua DC goes to to discredit Environmental Care members. Feyen has stated that DCs and Horizons are serial polluters!
THE NUMBERS back in 2009
* 25 resource consents to discharge into the Manawatu River were granted.
* 75,600 cubic metres could be discharged daily.
* Palmerston North, Manawatu, Horowhenua and Tararua councils had consents to discharge treated sewage and wastewater.
* Horizons Regional Council took four prosecutions and 36 fine actions over illegal discharges that year.
* The top five resource consents for daily discharge:
46,600 cubic metres, Palmerston North City Council
Watch and hear of the young man who contracted Trench Mouth from playing water sports in the Manawatu River. He was told by his Doctor that there have been only a few cases of this since WW2.
Watching this video got me researching a little more about why Trench Mouth and the bacteria in the water causing it. Firstly, here is a description of this particularly nasty infection:
The name alone can leave a bad taste in your mouth. But this EXTREMELY painful bacterial infection leaves a LOT more than just a bad taste. Trench mouth is like an amped up case of periodontal disease, where the infection is not only rapidly attacking the gums and bone, but causes the formation of gum ulcers filled with bacteria, food debris and DECAYING tissue earning it the official name of ACUTE NECROTIZING ULCERATIVE GINGIVITIS…Trench mouth became prevalent during World War I when soldiers who were fighting from the trenches developed the condition… overgrowths of some extremely virulent bacteria spread throughout the mouth.
One of them, spirochete, happens to also be responsible for syphilis when it’s found genitally.
If UNTREATED, the bacteria from trench mouth can spread to the cheeks, lips, or jawbone, where it’s been known to destroy healthy tissue –Research has shown that the bacteria associated with this gum condition can, in EXTREME cases, ALSO spread throughout the body, AND even cause oral cancers. If you HAVE trench mouth, your gums will develop a GRAY FILM caused by decomposed tissue. You may also see crater-like ulcers between the teeth.
Very ominous. Searching further, I looked for more info on ‘spirochetes’. The following information is from the Berkley University site. It is edited for brevity but you can learn more at the link.
Introduction to the Spirochetes
“Although spirochetes are not a large group — there are only six genera — they have had tremendous impact on our lives. Both syphilis and Lyme disease are caused by these bacteria and other species are important symbionts in the stomachs of cows and other ruminants. [Note: reports say Lyme disease has doubled in five years. For a somewhat disturbing expose of Lyme, watch the doco Under Our Skin].
Spirochetes are long and slender bacteria, usually only a fraction of a micron in diameter but 5 to 250 microns long. They are tightly coiled, and so look like miniature springs or telephone cords…
The ecological roles of spirochetes are varied; the group includes both aerobic and anaerobic species, and both free-living and parasitic forms. … Some species of Treponema live in the rumen of a cow’s stomach, where they break down cellulose and other difficult to digest plant polysaccharides for their host.”
Perhaps the best-known spirochetes are those which cause disease. These include syphilis and Lyme disease, as well as other less well-known ones… leptospirosis is a livestock disease caused by spirochetes. SOURCE
NZ’s Massey University have produced the following series of seven videos giving you the ABCs of Leptospirosis:
A brief summary of facts from the videos (subsequent videos will play following the one featured) :
Video 1: The Leptospirosis bacteria is found in animal urine. Leptospirosis is caught by contact and particularly from standing waters in pastures eg after flooding … (3.23 in the video).
It is found in areas stricken by routine flooding. NZ has the highest rate each year!! (at 6.30 in the video).
113 were diagnosed with Leptospirosis in 2012 in NZ, is likely higher, and more than half were farmers.
At 1.55 the most affected categories are listed, one of which is ‘swimming in infected lakes & rivers’.
Leptospirosis can lead to a few days to a life time’s illness. It has flu like symptoms. 5.35.
Video 4 Weather can create an outbreak for example in sheep following flooding of pastures like the February 2004 floods in the Manawatu. The backteria can live outside the host for a time then animals grazing & drinking ingest them. At 3.07 in the video, those at risk are recreational land & water users.
Video 6 Keep mouth eyes cuts etc clear to avoid exposure (1.30). If diagnosed early enough it can be treated with antibiotics.
Video 7 4.08 The need to look at risk factors in the farming community, particularly dairy farming and at 4.40 the need to understand the link between wildlife, humans & livestock, the risks for farmers and what wild life are acting as reservoirs.
How the Manawatu & Horowhenua Waterways are Polluted
Now, to join some dots … if you have watched any of Cr Feyen’s videos you will note that flooding features frequently in the information. He’s filmed videos that illustrate the filth that is dumped at river mouths following flooding. Farming, sewage and industrial discharge, often untreated, goes straight into the rivers. There you have the perfect conditions for these nasties to proliferate. Watch and see a flush of farm effluent and hear the graphic description. See also the discharge of raw sewage (filmed by Cr Campbell) into the local stream.
Enough information there then to influence your decision about whether or not to swim in the Manawatu River, or any NZ river for that matter? Remember, only around 40% of them are deemed healthy enough now to swim in anyway. So much for the clean green image that is portrayed abroad. NZ is not clean and green, not by any wild stretch of the imagination. With local body elections coming up, find out which of your proposed reps will make changes to this broken system and vote for them.
We need to make a stand against this ongoing corporate pollution, particularly that done by the very organizations that claim to be using sustainable practices.
An article here from naturalhealth365: “A relatively small handful of the better heart surgeons in the country would insist upon an examination of the mouth as part of their pre-operative evaluations, especially when contemplating heart valve surgery. If there was a lot of gum disease and/or evidence of any infected teeth, this had to be resolved as best as possible before proceeding with the planned surgery.
The very sound logic for this evaluation was that infection in the mouth could end up infecting the heart post-operatively. The fact that only a few surgeons have followed and continue to follow this protocol remains clear evidence that even our finest and most respected physicians in the country remain largely unaware of this most critical mouth disease-heart disease connection…”
“Chronic periodontal disease has ultimately pointed the way to realize, along with the work of the pioneering researchers noted … [in the article], that the ultimate, most clinically devastating dental infection is the root canal-treated tooth. Huggins and Haley found potent pathogen-generated toxins in 100% of over 5,000 consecutive extracted root canal-treated teeth, while normal teeth extracted for orthodontic purposes demonstrated no such toxicity.
The simple fact, still remaining to be properly realized and embraced, is that nothing really comes close to the negative impact of root canal-treated teeth in terms of the numbers of people who end up with life-altering chronic degenerative diseases and early death”.