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Endosulfan submission and ERMA meeting 30 July

Posted 15 years, 11 months ago    0 comments


ERMA is currently reassessing New Zealand's use of the highly toxic and persistent insecticide endosulfan - and incredibly, they are proposing to allow its continued use on our fruit and vegetables and on sports fields, bowling greens, parks and airports.

Endosulfan is one of the worst pesticides still used in New Zealand, in terms of its toxicity, chronic effects and environmental pollution. It is an old-style organochlorine related to DDT, which is why 55 countries have already banned it. We urge you to take a moment and write/email the Minister for the Environment, Trevor Mallard, asking him to overturn ERMA's proposed decision and ban this controversial insecticide.
The Minister has the powers to do this under section 68 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act which allow him to "call in the application" if the decision will have significant economic, environmental, international or health effects. ERMA's decision will have all of those.

Points to make in your submission:

* Endosulfan has caused birth defects, epilepsy, congenital intellectual impairment, cancer and devastating chronic suffering in thousands of people who have been exposed to it directly or by spray drift or contaminated water.
* At very low levels of exposure it can cause human breast cancer cells to grow and so is a real risk for breast cancer.
* It is a risk factor for Parkinsons Disease.
* It is persistent and bioaccumulative and it contaminates air, rain, snow, water, soil, and biota, including tree bark around the world - including the Arctic, Antarctica and Mt Everest. ERMA has also acknowledged that it probably contaminates our mountains such as Mt Taranaki, Mt Ruapehu etc, as a result of our use of this insecticide.
* It contaminates marine mammals such as whales and seals and levels are increasing.
* Because 60-70% of endosulfan evaporates after use, any use of it here will contribute to global contamination.
* It is ubiquitous in the human food chain and in human bodies.
* It is passed across the placenta to the unborn infant and in breast milk to the newborn.

ERMA's decision has not considered any of these points even though the information was available to them, so they cannot be relied on to make the right decision for New Zealand.

New Zealand's continued use of endosulfan is also deeply embarrassing internationally:

* The European Union has nominated it for a global ban under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
* Korea has twice now rejected New Zealand beef because of illegal residues of endosulfan, and we stand to lose our valuable exports markets from such contamination.
* 55 other countries are managing their agriculture and sports fields without endosulfan - why can't New Zealand?
* It is not possible to continue marketing New Zealand as clean, green, natural and pure when we are one of the few remaining countries to continue using this dirty pesticide that keeps on turning up in our food with monotonous regularity - 50% of tomatoes in the last Total Diet Survey contained endosulfan. Since then the New Zealand Food Safety Authority has found endosulfan residues on lettuce, courgettes and strawberries.
* New Zealand's failure to take responsibility for contributing to global pollution undermines all our claims to be a clean, green, sustainable nation.

ERMA's reassessment can be found at http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/search/registers.html?id=23290

More information on endosulfan can be found here

Please write now to the Minister - this is URGENT.

and put in a submissions to ERMA -  closes on the 8th August


Community and Environmental Group meeting - Discussion on the Environment

Plants and animals that are new to New Zealand, genetic modification, pesticides, explosives, and other hazardous chemicals - including cosmetics - all come under the umbrella of ERMA New Zealand, the agency responsible for the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.

If you are interested in any of these areas, ERMA New Zealand is hosting another Community & Environmental Group meeting in Hamilton, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 30 July, to hear the community's views, provide information, and discuss any issues around the regulation of hazardous substances and new organisms.

Anyone who wishes to attend the meeting is requested to contact Erin Maaskant at ERMA New Zealand for details of the venue.

Phone (04) 918 4826 or email erin.maaskant@ermanz.govt.nz

Lesley Meadows
Communications Manager
ERMA New Zealand
Tel +64 4 916 2426
DDI +64 4 918 4835
Mob +64 21 224 3304


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