“Also disturbing are the birth defects documented by a local midwife, and the fact that Ivon Watkins Dow continued to manufacture 2-4-5-T in New Zealand until 1987, making us the last country in the world to manufacture the dangerous substance.”
The Green Party NZ
[Photo Credit: Creative Commons]
The TV 3 Exposé, initially broadcast then censored from NZ TV. A must see for any member of the public, this doco covers the exposure of the Paritutu and New Zealand community at large to the chemical 2-4-5-T, manufactured at Ivon Watkins Dow in New Plymouth between 1962-1981, and the disastrous effects it had on those exposed.
Further coverage was made by the Investigate magazine:
THE POISONING OF NEW ZEALAND
THE ‘ERIN BROKOVICH’-STYLE SCANDAL IN NEW ZEALAND’S BACKYARD
Outbreaks of rare diseases and tumours are appearing in clusters around New Zealand, close to chemical factories. Why doesn’t the Government want to investigate? Simon Jones discovers what the authorities don’t want you to know:
Walk down any street in New Plymouth and you will probably hear a mixture of coughing and spluttering. Look inside any school and there appears to be more special needs children than is the norm for a city the size of New Plymouth. It’s often been said that everyone knows someone with a serious disease, whether it be cancer or multiple sclerosis.
Bad luck? Possibly, but for the last 15 years a group of residents have turned scientists to uncover what they say is a national health scandal – and one which, despite the government and media’s persistent attempts to ignore, won’t go away.
They may sound like conspiracy theorists in overdrive – and there is little in the way of official evidence and health statistics to back up what they say. But here is the frightening thing: If, in this real-life game of Fact or Fiction?, only 10 percent of what the residents say is true, we have a huge health scandal on our hands – the magnitude and implications of which are unimaginable.
The story centres around one of the city’s major employers, the Ivon Watkins Dow Plant.
Since the early 1960s, and up until 1987, it manufactured the 2,4,5T herbicide – which contains the deadly dioxin also used to form Agent Orange – a weapon of huge destruction in the Vietnam War.
In New Zealand and around the world 2,4,5T is used to kill scrub, gorse and blackberry. In Vietnam, with concentrations of dioxin much higher, it had the same effect – to the extent where it devastated the country’s crops and caused major health problems amongst veterans, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, while creating learning difficulties amongst the vets’ children.
MORE ON IVON WATKINS DOW:
MP’s Agent Orange claim triggers inquiry 10/01/05
Officials will investigate a Government minister’s reported claim that Ivon Watkins Dow exported the components of the defoliant Agent Orange for use in the Vietnam War.
From the Green Party NZ:
TV3’s Melanie Reid has spent the last year investigating dioxin contamination from the herbicide 2-4-5-T, especially in the New Plymouth suburb of Paritutu, where Ivon Watkins Dow manufactured the chemical for more than 20 years. The result, a 90-min documentary called Let us Spray went to air last night. If you missed it, you can watch it online here. (Video displayed above).
The documentary is extremely disturbing. Most notably, a forensic accountant hired by TV3 went through an earlier Ministry of Health report into dioxin contamination in New Plymouth and found that ill-defined parameters, muddled reporting of facts and inconsistencies in drawing conclusions masked the true extent of the dioxin contamination problem. READ MORE
Read more on chemicals and how they poison us on our ‘chemicals’ pages.