- Locust spraying programs in Western Australia will soon
extend to many areas in the eastern states, what will be the impact on
- The fact sheet on the organophosphate pesticide fenitrothion
to control plague locust is somewhat light on in describing the public
risk of exposure and very selective in it's content, and ignores facts
the public has a right to know. The fact sheet totally omits the well established
fact that exposure to OP pesticides can cause or trigger the onset of diseases
like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity even at
low level exposures. Mention of these diseases is completely omitted, because
health authorities are under immense political pressure to pretend these
diseases do not exist, to justify the continued use of highly toxic pesticides
when there is no doubt they are harmful to public health.
- No mention is made of the lifelong "living nightmare"
that Multiple Chemical Sensitivity imposes on it's victims, who often totally
incapacitated, unable to function normally in society again. No mention
is made of similar locust spraying problems in Madagascar where out of
100 people tested 60% showed signs of pesticide poisoning. Out of a further
38 persons tested, 80% showed a reduction in cholinesterase activity due
to organophosphate pesticide poisoning. The problems from locust spraying
in Madagascar were considered so unacceptable, that even the World Bank
(not known for it's interest in environmental issues) withdrew funding
support for locust spraying programs.
- New studies show primary producers who regularly use
toxic pesticides suffer brain damage with decreased mental functions later
in life. There is no mention of new evidence which shows pesticide residues
on fruit and vegetables encourage the growth of dangerous bacteria such
as Salmonella, Listeria & E.coli 0157 increasing the risk of food poisoning
from eating fresh produce such as lettuce, strawberries etc. This, at a
time when antibiotic use in meat production as growth stimulants has rendered
most human life-saving antibiotic drugs ineffective.
- The fact sheet says fenitrothion poses no risk to pregnant
women and that it's not known to cause congenital birth defects, but notably
issues a disclaimer of responsibility suggesting pregnant women suffering
"distress" should consult with their doctor. Hardly comforting,
when less than 5% of doctors have successfully been able to diagnose OP
pesticide poisoning in the last 10 years. OP pesticides are not known to
produce birth defects of a physical type in the developing foetus, but
there is a large body of evidence which links serious functional and behavioral
problems in children to pesticide exposure early in life. To say there
is "no risk" would have to regarded as "selective wording"
in describing facts, if not downright misleading.
- It's claimed the last locust plague in 1990 cost Western
Australia $20 million in damage. By comparison the spiraling number of
children with Attention Deficit Disorders, Autism, (240% increase in the
last 4 years) and other pesticide related health problems cost the country
hundreds of millions each and every year. There's no quick fix antidote
on offer for these. No quick fix for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The
cost to taxpayers is increasing with each new generation of permanently
disabled children remaining intellectually impaired as adults. While experts
overseas are calling for the need to track chronic diseases to environmental
causes, we are splashing this stuff on the land by the shipload. Worse
still, aerial spraying an OP pesticide has no real control where the spray
drift ends up and must be considered an act of stupidity if not gross negligence.
- The National Registration Authority has never maintained
a public Chemical Injuries Register for human beings, so it has no way
to know what the actual impact of specific toxic chemicals on public health
actually are. Yet, it gives assurances that certain pesticides will not
harm the public. It sounds more like a sales pitch from a shonky used car
dealer than anything remotely scientific. Given the NRA usually ignores
reports by members of the public and their doctors of serious injury from
specific pesticides, how the hell would they know?
- It obviously regards short term lab tests on rats provided
by self interested chemical manufacturers more "reliable" evidence,
and suggests human beings who report pesticide injury in the real world
have overactive "imaginations" to avoid responsibility if it's
decisions are later proved wrong. If regulatory & health authorities
are telling the public the truth on the safety of locust spraying programs,
why have they omitted so many essential facts?
- Warm Regards,
- Rex Warren email@example.com President - Australian
Chemical Trauma Alliance http://www.ozemail.com.au/-actall
- Contrary to popular belief, human beings are not "bullet
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