This story is from 2006, a shocking story in more ways than one. Shocking and sad for the family of this young woman, Whitney Robie, who was only 23. She had been hiking in the South Island, felt unwell, and after retiring to bed, died in her sleep of a sudden cardiac arrest it was later ascertained. Now they are left with few answers and no real closure regarding the why of her death. The Doctor she saw that day was concerned she had possibly been exposed to 1080 on her hike. Read on.
She had come here to our ‘clean green’ paradise to live. Sadly she died here.
(NZ is not clean and green people, it is severely polluted and toxic now … and worse, our authorities lie about that).
Sudden accidental deaths (SADs) do happen however this story has some anomalies which could have but have not been solved due to a medical blunder. It is thanks to a GP who followed up on Whitney & questioned friends at the hostel where she was staying, that we have a little more of this story than we would otherwise have known.
Losing a heart for one thing is a shocker in itself. In a random and ordinary course of events such a mistake is feasible. But with a sudden unexplained death of a very healthy, active young woman … how could this possibly happen? When the clues to her death clearly lay within an analysis of her heart’s condition, how could they simply LOSE her heart? Well lose it they did. Or so they say.
The official story about this loss can be found at the following link:
Family face long wait over backpacker’s lost heart
(the link being broken & the 2006 article gone from the internet, the Herald article is reprinted further below at end of article)
A journalist who has been following this story for some time and says it has been shared more than 150 times now, has re posted it on Facebook with the attendant detail from when it first became news…here is the train of events as described by her (edited for brevity & omission of personal detail):
“Regarding Whitney Robie, she went hiking on her own in a 1080’d area (I believe it was gel/jelly) and felt unwell that evening, said so, went to bed and had a cardiac arrest in the night. She was 23. From the USA, her obituary described how she was full of life, fit, loved the outdoors and had moved to NZ for an adventure. She had no previous history of heart problems.
The Doctor concerned said he had gone to the hostel and spoken to the other guests straight after she died. Later when he heard her death had been recorded as a heart attack, he advised and pressed the authorities to run tests relating to possible 1080 exposure. He was told however that the matter was now ‘officially closed’.
Her heart was sent for post mortem and was lost by the govt laboratory. This Dunedin GP was so concerned that he made a submission to ERMA in 2007 that included this account.
It was his opinion that the most probable cause of her death was 1080 poisoning, and that many others in NZ over the years have also died from it but that their deaths are either mistakenly or deliberately misdiagnosed.”
A letter to the editor in 2006 commenting on the actions of the Doctor involved gives further information about the unexplained early deaths of people working with 1080. Read the pdf here: cancer-deaths-from-1080
Here are some points to consider about this story:
- The 1080 Reassessment Application document for ERMA Oct 2006. Section 3.3 Hazard Classifications. Sub section 4.8.2 [has the] ‘Heart’ as a target organ.
4.8.2. Heart as a target organ That single or repeated sublethal exposures to fluoroacetate can have toxic effects on the heart has been recognised for some time (e.g. Steyn 1934; Quin and Clark 1947; Hicks 1952). In general, the action of fluoroacetate on the heart is to decrease the metabolic energy available in heart muscle, which affects the conduction system controlling the rate and strength of heart beats (e.g. Chenoweth and Gilman 1947) (found on page 11 of the pdf)
- St Johns put out their Sudden Cardiac Arrest Annual Report in June and it shows the figures for rural as opposed to urban. The rates are far far higher in rural areas.
Rural New Zealanders had more than double the incidence of cardiac arrest than those in urban centres – approximately 160 versus 78 (per 100,000 person-years).
- 1080 is effective as a poison regardless of the mode of entry. It can be absorbed by the intact skin, but not readily, however it is easily absorbed through cuts, abrasions, and is rapidly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract and through the lungs. One teaspoon of 1080 is enough to kill 30-100 adults weighing around 150 pounds. The potential for misuse is great
- How toxic is 1080? Toxicologist explains – Professor Ian Shaw explores why and how 1080 is so toxic and asks what is the risk of a child dying from contaminated formula.
The main point is that although these deaths may or may not be attributed to 1080, more importantly, if nobody looks and checks then we are left with this element of doubt. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Plausible deniability is not good enough. There are questions that are not being answered or even addressed.It recently came to light from an Official Information request that DOC had lost 89 Kiwi, and yet they had not tested one of them for 1080. Doing so is not rocket science.
A blogger, NZRose commented here recently: My partner and I spoke to the poison people late last year. They are contracted to lay everything from cyanide to feratox to take care of the ‘pests’ on behalf of the NZ Government. I will never forget them laughing as they said that the 1080 had been doubled more than a year prior to our conversation. When we asked why they said “to Kill the deer, and the activists aren’t even aware yet”. We responded with “Well now they are”. These people were too stupid to realise they were talking to the wrong people. (See the whole comment here)
Proceed with Caution
And in the meantime, this is all evidence enough for us to be extremely wary of exposing ourselves in any way to 1080. It is clearly a lethal product and by all reports right now, is being spread around quite indiscriminately. Finding it on walking tracks, in streams and on public seating and anywhere near where humans are likely to be, is simply not good enough. Families with young children walk these tracks. If you intend hiking in our bush, please avail yourself of data about when 1080 was last spread in the area where you intend walking. You can obtain this from DOC. We recently heard of two women who were surprised during a picnic by a 1080 drop who continue to experience illness, they believe, because of that unintended exposure. Clearly they were not aware of any intentions by DOC to be dropping 1080 where they picnicked that day.
About 1080: 1080 is an alias for Monofluoroacetate, a chemical. Monofluoroacetate was originally developed and marketed as an insecticide. It functions primarily by interfering with the citrate step in the Krebs cycle . The Krebs cycle is the major and an essential mechanism by which all air breathing creatures utilize food to produce energy. It is therefore universally toxic to all animals, essentially every living thing except plants and some micro-organisms. The degree of toxicity of 1080 is extreme, but varies somewhat among species. It is categorised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as 1A, their highest rating, “extremely toxic” [1,2]. * The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies 1080 as ‘Extremely Hazardous’, most countries ban it outright. NZ uses 85% of the world’s supply … perhaps the world hasn’t figured out what a wonderful thing it really is. (References 1-5 are at the source)
*Dr Q Whiting-OKeefe (BA Chemistry, Math), MD, FACMI
What I deduct from all of this is that until the NZ government desists from using it, we the public must be very vigilant in protecting ourselves. That to my mind includes warning others, particularly tourists who are sold our country on the basis of being ‘clean and green’. The corporations
(and our government is one
) have a priority (a legal mandate) of profits over people, so they are not going to put your safety first. We believe it is far safer to err on the side of caution when there are any suspected or known risks.
Educate yourself on 1080 … find links at our 1080 page to the many resources available. Search for further articles exposing the risks of 1080 by searching ‘categories’ at the left of any page.
Note: for some reason, the Facebook sharing button is not working … in the meantime, to share please use the url.
Please take extreme care….. EnvirowatchRangitikei
NZ Herald Article
Family face long wait over backpacker’s lost heart
7:50 PM Wednesday Jun 14, 2006
The family of an American backpacker whose heart went missing after she died suddenly in Queenstown last month face a long wait.
The Auckland District Health Board is investigating the disappearance of 23-year-old Whitney Robie’s heart from LabPlus, the hospital’s pathology laboratory.
Miss Robie collapsed while watching TV at Deco Backpackers in Queenstown on May 15 and died shortly afterwards despite efforts to revive her.
Invercargill pathologist Dr Ahmed Shogun could not determine her cause of death. Queenstown coroner Alan Macalister and police requested a further investigation and her heart was couriered to LabPlus for tests.
But Miss Robie’s heart was lost and had been missing since, despite a “thorough and repeated search” for it.
“I can confirm … [it] has not been located,” said the health board’s external communications manager Fleur King.
She said the normal procedure was for the board to conduct its investigation before presenting its findings to relatives.
The process could take several months, she said.
“The family will be presented with the document. It is up to them if they want to present it to the public.”
Ms King would not say if anyone or any organisation would be punished over the matter but said “additional measures” had been introduced to ensure it did not happen again.
In a statement issued to the media, the board and LabPlus expressed deep regret at what had happened and said the organisation had been in contact with Miss Robie’s family.
However, Miss Robie’s mother, Alison, told the Herald on Sunday she and her husband Chuck were angry at the lack of information and contact from both LabPlus and the health board.
“Auckland Hospital has never called us. The lab has never called us. The only communication from anyone over there, other than the police and the original doctor who was with Whitney after the incident, has been through a funeral director here,” said Mrs Robie.
The couple want to know what caused their daughter’s death and what went wrong at LabPlus.
“I’m kind of speechless to be honest with you over the whole thing,” said Mr Robie. “It’s a personal matter when we start talking about something of our daughter’s.
“We have struggled with that whole issue. We’re really at a loss at this point in time, without any information on what we should do,” he said.
Miss Robie was buried in her New Hampshire home town on May 23.
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This site aims to educate the public by providing independently researched evidence and by exposing untruths. Corporations are not inclined to tell you the full facts because they have a priority of profits over people.
We do not in any way encourage or condone violence in raising these issues. It is our ultimate wish that the government/corporation desist from unleashing toxic poisons into our once clean and green environment, but until they do we simply wish to warn people to protect themselves from possible harm.