Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hear the truth - Scientists interviewed on NZ's use of 1080

Click here GreenPlanetFM interview with the Whiting-O'Keefes 
to hear the interview with internationally esteemed scientists Pat and Quinn Whiting-O'Keefe talking about the use of 1080 in New Zealand.... 


Originally from Stanford Research Institute and University of California, San Francisco in the USA with a considerable knowledge in chemistry and an expertise in statistical inference in complex systems they have focused recently on the aerial poison drops of 1080 to kill possums.

1080 is called Sodium mono-fluoro-acetate and as a poison like cyanide, is toxic to all air-breathing organisms, but it is not an evil in itself. The problem is with the way DoC the Department of Conservation is using it by blanketing the forest with food laced with 1080 that is attractive to most native and feral animals, everything from worms, beetles, and wetas to wekas and horses.

Clean green New Zealand is unique in the world in its use of aerial 1080. No other country is doing anything remotely similar to this. New Zealand uses over 85% of the world’s supply of 1080, a poison that is toxic to all animals, that is banned or severely restricted in most countries, and that is classified “1A, extremely hazardous” by the World Health Organization.

In response to this, DoC the Department of Conservation asserts that New Zealand is in a unique ecological position, but this is simply not true.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GreenPlanetFM Radio - listen to some experts talk about 1080 - tomorrow

GreenPlanetFM 104.6 Thursday 16th December 8-9am

Pat Whiting-OKeefe, Ph.D. & Quinn Whiting-OKeefe, M.D.

Speaking against the Poison - 1080.

Originally from Stanford Research Institute and University of California,
San Francisco in the USA with a considerable knowledge in chemistry and an
expertise in statistical inference in complex systems they have  focused
recently on the aerial poison drops of 1080 to kill possums.

1080 is called Sodium mono-fluoro-acetate and as a poison like cyanide, is
toxic to
all air-breathing organisms, but it is not an evil in itself.  The problem
is with the way DoC the Department of Conservation is using it by
blanketing the forest with food laced with 1080 that is attractive to most
native and feral animals, everything from worms, beetles, and wetas to
wekas and horses.

Clean green New Zealand is unique in the world in its use of aerial 1080. 
No other country is doing anything remotely similar to this.  New Zealand
uses over 85% of the world's supply of 1080, a poison that is toxic to all
animals, that is banned or severely restricted in most countries, and that
is classified "1A, extremely hazardous" by the World Health Organization.

In response to this, DoC the Department of Conservation asserts that New
Zealand is in a unique ecological position, but this is simply not true. 
For example, the State of Hawaii has an almost identical problem with
feral mammals threatening native birds, and we learned from Miles
Nakahara, Forest & Wildlife branch manager that Hawaii would not even
consider such a practice.  "You are pretty cavalier using a poison like
that . you will destroy the forest . you will lose the very thing you are
trying to save."  Similar circumstances exist on many of the Pacific
islands, and similar comments have been made by every non-Kiwi scientist
that has been consulted.

The perception here is that ecologists and ecological considerations are
being overturned, by marketing and accountancy factors, and that a true
understanding of what blanket covering of the ecology by 1080, does not
qualify as 'right practice' or the 'precautionary approach.' Especially
when the science is not robust. With 70 million possums nation wide being
unacknowledged as a resource they are instead being poisoned and left to
decompose on the forest floor.

There are other ways to resolve this troublesome problem and a robust
public debate needs to be convened to bring clarity as soon as possible.

Pat Whiting-OKeefe, Ph.D. & Quinn Whiting-OKeefe, M.D.

Speaking against the Poison 1080.

GreenplanetFM104.6 Thursday16th 8-9am

With Tim Lynch in Mobilising Consciousness

www.stop1080poison.com
www.thegrafboys.org
www.kaka1080.co.nz

And for a Federated Farmers and Forest and Bird web site which defends the
use of 1080 and the status quo.

http://www.1080facts.co.nz

Monday, November 15, 2010

United Future to push for 1080 poison ban



Steve and I were invited to speak at the UnitedFuture conference on Saturday.
We presented a PowerPoint slideshow and talked about alternatives to 1080, and the new documentary we are currently working on.
 The new doco will demonstrate that there are many highly skilled and experienced people and organisations in New Zealand that can provide effective, and direct alternatives to the current practice of aerially poisoning our forests.
Below is the press release from UnitedFuture.


Media Statement
Saturday, 13 November 2010

Hon Peter Dunne
MP for Ohariu
Leader of UnitedFuture

Dunne: UF will push for total ban on 1080 poison

UnitedFuture will push for an immediate ban on 1080 poison when it enters government-forming negotiations after the next election, leader Peter Dunne told the party’s policy conference today.

“In the next Parliament we will seek an immediate ban on the continued use of 1080 in any shape or form.

“We want the millions of dollars currently going on this indiscriminate killer of our wildlife to be diverted to other forms of pest control, and scientific research on better options,” Mr Dunne said.

“One of the biggest threats across New Zealand is animals being killed and the poisoning of waterways by indiscriminate use of 1080 poison.

New Zealand should listen to the voice of the many communities who actually have to deal with this, and who are increasingly opposed to the impact of 1080.

“We need to have the focus on finding better ways to control pests and move away from this destructive poison,” he said.

Speaking at the conference, which was also addressed by Bryce Johnson, chief executive of Fish and Game, and anti-1080 campaigners and documentary-makers, Clyde and Steven Graf, Mr Dunne said New Zealanders could not take access and enjoyment of the outdoors for granted.

“There are serious and ongoing threats to that access – as we have seen recently with Timberland’s unfortunate stance banning access to Kaingaroa Forest and some top fishing rivers.

“UnitedFuture is fighting that and other threats to our outdoors heritage. We will not let the Kiwi birthright be taken away,” Mr Dunne said.

Ends  

Mark Stewart | Press Secretary | Office of Hon Peter Dunne
DDI +64 4 817 6985 | Mb +64 21 243 6985 |

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Mad Hatter's Ten-Eighty-Tea Party?

The following story appeared on the front page of this week's

The Informer...

               The Mad Hatter's Ten-Eighty-Tea Party?

Government 1080 importer threatens to sue government for compensation if 1080 stocks are made worthless.

Is this another twist to the Mad Hatters Ten-Eight-Tea Party?
More and more it appears that it is not conservation science, but rather it is an economic engine that is  driving the continued use of 1080 as the “most effective tool we have” to reduce possum numbers.

Methinks I smell a rat,or should I say a possum, and it's not in the forest dying an agonising 1080 death -  no, it appears to be a large corporate creature nestled into a cosy cranny at the highest level of government.

Animal Control Products Ltd (ACP) is a state-owned enterprise whose two shareholders are the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Agriculture. It is a business that, like a drug addict, is hooked into the  importation, manufacturing and distribution of 1080 products and the profits that are generated. In its Statement of Corporate Intent ( 2010- 2012) there are a few eye-brow raising statements, no matter whether your eyebrows are the bushy farmer's type, or shaped urban. 

Here are three surprising facts for your consideration:

1.      APC Ltd sees any developments of alternatives to 1080 ( that ERMA recommended) as a “risk” to its core business.(Importing and manufacturing products from 1080 accounts for 65% of its profits. )

2.      It has stockpiled 4 years worth of 1080 “beyond commercial requirements”. (This has been  estimated to amount to more than 10,000kg of pure 1080.)

3.      It has stated that  should the government take any action to restrict 1080 use, thereby making these stocks “valueless”, it will assert its right to seek compensation “..sufficient to allow the Company's position to be restored. ( Source:  http://www.comu.govt.nz/pdfs/ACP-SCI-2009-10.pdf  )

Here are some questions to ponder.

How bizarre is this, where an SOE company whose two shareholders are the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture, will threaten to sue themselves, the government?

How can it be in the “national interest” and for the “public good”, to stockpile 4 years worth of the  supertoxin 1080 “beyond commercial requirements” as stated by ACP?

Is ACP an unaccountable corporate entity? The answer to this must be 'yes' as it states that its Business and Strategic Plan is confidential and not available to the public.

ACP Ltd also states that to deal with the perceived “risk” of 1080 use being restricted, it will need to develop new poisons as well as expand exports. Currently, ACP through Pestoff Products based in Wanganui, exports container loads of poisons to many overseas nations including Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Russian states like unstable Kyrgyzstan.( Source:  www.pestoff.co.nz/  under products).

Have we “gone down the rabbit hole” like Alice in Wonderland where things appear curiouser and curiouser? For example, in the 2007 “anti-terrorist” police raids, the organisers of an environmentally constructive Ecoshow in Taupo had their homes searched and computers removed. Compare this to the fact that a state-owned enterprise can import  huge amounts of a deadly Class 1A supertoxin which could threaten national security if ever it got into the wrong hands.

In its booklet on “Possum Control and the Use of 1080 in New Zealand”, the Department of Conservation stated that 1080 for possum control was the best available poison “ in the short to medium term”. They stated that within 10  to 15 years there would be more “integrated” approaches or biological control. But this was written sixteen years ago. Over this time, 1080 use has become entrenched in the economy, driven more by money than ecology.

It would be funny, if it wasn't so concerning that many well-intentioned and hard-working people of the conservation sector have swallowed the green-tinged bait of this profit-driven poison-industrial complex. In time, 1080 will join a long list of banned chemicals that were once promoted as “safe and cost-effective”.

To see story - click here - The Informer

Stephanie McKee
Waikawau Bay.
October 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kiwi vs Poisons - More testing needed.

There is still no reliable evidence to show that kiwi are benefiting, at a population level, from the use of aerially applied 1080 poison on the mainland.
Kiwi may, however, benefit from pest control using targeted trapping, and targeted ground control operations.

The following excerpts are from a 3 year study that observed the effects of brodifacoum poison, through the use of BAIT STATIONS (not aerially applied poison), on kiwi...

(ROBERTSON, COLBOURNE, GRAHAM, MILLER and PIERCE: KIWI SURVIVAL AND BRODIFACOUM)

"Kiwi chicks may be more vulnerable than adults to accidental poisoning if they have different physiology or behaviour; for instance, kiwi chicks are more liable to feed on novel food items (Tamsin Ward-Smith, Massey University, NZ, pers. comm.). With a short bill, chicks are restricted to feeding on surface-dwelling invertebrates and so may be more likely to come into contact with invertebrates feeding on baits that had fallen to the ground or been cached by rodents (rats or mice), and invertebrates feeding on possum and rodent carcasses on the ground. We had no evidence from our study to show that either rats or possums were killing kiwi chicks."


"We have shown that kiwi chicks are ingesting the toxin, even though the doses recorded are generally
below the levels affecting the physiology, behaviour or survival of the chicks concerned; however, one
chick had a higher level (0.18 mg kg-1) than the 0.12 mg kg-1 that was apparently fatal in a harrier
(Rammell et al. 1984)."

We now know (2010) that brodifacoum is terminating in kiwi chicks, eggs, and adult birds.
1080 bait looks the same, smells the same, and tastes the same as brodifacoum baits.
1080 is spread aerailly across New Zealand, whereas brodifacoum is only permitted in some areas on the mainland, in bait stations.
Therefore, aerially applied 1080 is far more accessible to kiwi, than brodifacoum presented in bait stations.

How is it that brodifacoum residues are found in kiwi, but 1080 is not (as we're told by the DoC), when the baits are practically the same, apart from the way they kill?

"If it is known that a species has eaten cereal-based baits containing brodifacoum, that information is included in this report to indicate that the species may eat cereal-based 1080 baits." 
( E.B. Spurr and R.G. Powlesland 1997)


Brown kiwi (Apteryx australis) Brown kiwi are known to have eaten cereal-based baits (Pierce & Montgomery 1992),"

Brodifacoum accumulates in the body, whereas, we're informed, that non fatal doses of 1080 is metabolised.
However, it would be reasonable to assume that the 1080 is still entering the birds foodchain, (because it is allot more available to kiwi in aerial drops, than bait station operations using brodifacoum) and they are consuming the poison, but perhaps it is less possible to detect the poison, simply because it ends up being metabolised. Or perhaps we're not testing the birds to determine if they contain 1080 residues?

The question is - what harm is being done to the birds that receive this sub-lethal dose?
We do know that 1080 is a male reproductive toxin.
Is it probable that the repeated use of 1080 in our forests (every 3 years, in many areas) is having a detrimental effect on these birds long term breeding ability? Yes.

Is it possible that the damage done by 1080 intoxication, that is then metabolised, still kills the bird, even weeks down the track, but the residues are no longer detectable? Or perhaps the birds that die in aerial drops aren't being tested for residues, their deaths simply being attributed to predation?

For example, 14 kiwi recently died at Mt Bruce, in the Wairarapa.
1 bird in March, and 13 birds between the 05 July and August 12.
2 types of poison have been used in over 1100 bait stations across the reserve. A first generation anticoagulant was used earlier in the year.
The death of the birds where put down to predation by 2 stoats. These 2 stoats covered 950  hectares in less than 4 weeks, and killed 2 juvenile, and 11 adult kiwi. (one of the birds to die earlier, was too decomposed to determine cause of death)
DoC tell us that kiwi can defend themselves from a predator after reaching about 1.5kg in size. (about 18 months of age) The majority of birds killed at Mt Bruce were adult birds.

Only 5 kiwi in the last 15 years have been tested for 1080 residues. Including those from Mt Bruce.
One in 1998, one in 2001, one in 2008, and 2 in 2010. (As of at 24th August 2010 (obtained under the Official Information Act - OIA request) It is not known if these 5 tested kiwi were from poison drop zones.

It seems unreasonable to assume that 1080 is not terminating in kiwi (as the public are told by DoC), when so few of the birds that die are being tested. Surely, in a country that drops so much poison, one could expect that ALL kiwi found dead, whether thought to be scavenged, or predated on, should be tested for residues simply to understand where this poison is ending up.
We often find birds scavenged in poison drop zones. This does not mean they were predated on - simply that they have been scavenged on AFTER dying from 1080 poisoning.
At the moment, it seems, that there is a resistance to wanting to test birds for poison residues, to ensure poison residues are not realised.

Friday, October 29, 2010

High numbers of deer killed in poison drop

This research paper was conducted after an aerial poison operation in the Blue Mountains, in Otago, 2001.
What's interesting is the number of deer that were killed. For those that suggest "deer aren't killed in 1080 drops!", this research was conducted by Landcare Research.
20 birds were also found.
However, birds are allot harder to find dead, than deer. In one study it stated.."The mortalities of non-target birds from 1080 poisonings may be underreported because many die in their nests or roosts and are never found (Koenig and Reynolds 1987)."

It is illegal to kill deer with 1080, they are a non-target species.
As can be seen in this paper, and as is consistent with drop zones we have investigated, the non-target kill rates are higher than the target - as would be expected with a practice of dropping poison laced food from helicopters...


G. NUGENT
I. YOCKNEY
Landcare Research
P.O. Box 69
Lincoln 8152, New Zealand

Abstract Incidental kills of deer during aerial -1080 poisoning of brushtail possums (Trichosurus
vulpecula) using baits containing sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) causes widespread hunter
opposition to this control method. We document the deaths of a large number of fallow deer (Dama
dama) after aerial-1080 poisoning in the Blue Mountains, Otago. Three deer fitted with radio collars all
died during the poisoning. Eight randomly located "search cells" (25-57 ha) were each searched twice.
One pig (Sus scrofa), 53 deer, 58 possum, and 20 bird (three native) carcasses were found. Deercarcass
density varied widely between cells (2.2-38.6/km2), reflecting differences in deer density but
apparently also the amount of ground cover. The total number of deer killed was estimated using
Lincoln indices. More fawns were killed than larger adult deer. Comparison with historical harvest data
suggested that between two-thirds and three-quarters of the deer present had been killed. This unintended
by-kill will have reduced deer impacts on native plants and the risk of Tb spread or persistence in
deer. However, such incidental benefits may not offset the increased indirect "social" costs likely to
arise from increased hunter opposition to use of aerial-1080 poisoning....

For the full story, click here

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Macquarie Island Poison Drop Kills More Than Expected

Macquarie Island, situated between Tasmania and Antarctica, has recently been subjected to an aerial poison drop.

Click here top see the ABC story

The drop is similar to the one conducted on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, off Auckland last year that is believed to have killed over 7 dolphins, large numbers of penguins and fish, and hundreds of native birds...and some suspect, the mysterious dog deaths that were attributed to poisonous sea slugs.

The 24 million dollar project has reportedly been halted - after it was found to have killed 431 native birds, from 6 species -  until a review has been completed.  Click here to see story

The 300 tonnes of Brodifacoum bait designated for the Macquarie Island project was manufactured in New Zealand.

Click here for link to Parks and Wildlife Service Pest Eradication Project

Sunday, October 24, 2010

SAFE - take stance on 1080

SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation) have come out strong with a stance against the use of 1080 poison.

This is more good news in the effort to have 1080 banned in New Zealand.

Good on you, SAFE.  Click here to visit SAFE website 

US bill to ban 1080 can be viewed at congress here

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Progress

The government has agreed to fund a 4 million dollar trial on the effectiveness of a new, self-setting, instant kill trap which targets possums, rats and stoats. Click here to see press release. Super stuff!

The trial won't start until next summer, 2011/2012, and will run for 3 years - which means more 1080, in the mean time, which is concerning.

This new step in testing and developing this trap is good news, no question.

But why has it taken so long to develop something so simple? This trap is a result of private enterprise - good old kiwi ingenuity - should it not have been a government funded research institution that developed something so simple? Apparently not.
Why? Because our government funded - alternatives to 1080 - departments are looking for alternatives by developing new poisons. New toxic substances that can be dropped from aircraft - always developing that more lethal, targeted poison - and as a result, we believe, they're not putting enough effort into responsible, targeted trapping technology.

For heaven's sake, we can build huge bridges that span harbours, put tunnels through mountains, put man on the moon (I think), carry hundreds of people through the air at a time, from country to country - and you tell me we can't catch a few possums, rats and stoats? Non-sense!

We need to replace, or re-educate our inDoCtrinated, poison loving bigwigs that currently run our pest management departments. What's needed is sensible, humane, and clean-green thinking, community minded appointees.
We may then start to see harmony, unity, and respect return to communities, and to those charged with managing our wilderness areas.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AHB not worried if US closes factory - AHB can source 1080 from China???

In a recent press release, Penny Fairbrother of the AHB stated that the AHB are not concerned with the Alabama 1080 factory being closed down because they could simply source 1080 concentrate from China. (click here for news link)

We understand there is no legal source of 1080 in China.

However, it is believed 1080 is being produced illegally in China - where it was reportedly banned years ago.

The following medical report and comments were supplied anonymously...

12. AN OUTBREAK OF SEVERE RODENTICIDE POISONING IN NORTH VIETNAM CAUSED BY ILLEGAL FLUOROACETATE


Ho¨ jer J,1 Hung HT,2 Du NT,2 Kylin H,3 Rosling H.4

1 Swedish Poisons Information Centre, Stockholm, Sweden;
2 Poison Control Centre, Hanoi, Vietnam;
3 Department of Environmental Assessment, SLU, Uppsala, Sweden;
4 Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Background: Since January 2002 well over 100 cases of rodenticide poisoning have been admitted to the Clinical Toxicology Unit of the PCC in Hanoi. The responsible product is brought illegally from China, where it is illegally produced. It has been suspected to contain some organic fluorine compound. Methods: NMR spectroscopy, using standards of fluoroacetamide and sodium fluoroacetate as references, was used to analyze four liquid samples of the type of rodenticide ingested. The clinical findings in three typical cases are summarised below:


Case series - Initial GI symptoms - Hyperreflexia, rigidity, S-CPK ". Recurrent seizures


ECG findings - Hospital duration = outcome...
8 years, F accidental Yes Yes Yes T inversions and supravent. tachy. 11 days=survival
17 years, F suicidal Yes Yes Yes Prolonged QT; SVT 7 days=survival
21 years, F suicidal Yes Yes Yes Prolonged QT; VT; ventric. fibr. 1 day=fatal


Results: The presence of sodium fluoroacetate was demonstrated in all four rodenticide samples analysed. Conclusion: Although the extremely toxic substance sodium fluoroacetate has been banned as a rodenticide in China and Vietnam for many years, extensive illegal use is apparent and severe cases of intoxication are numerous.


Are the AHB considering negotiating with an illegal supplier of 1080, who may be responsible for hundreds of cases of human poisonings? Should they come clean with the NZ public and explain exactly who their proposed source of 1080 is in china, and prove that they are not dealing with anyone who is guilty of supplying 1080 illegally? Certainly!

  Click here for link to US bill to ban 1080

Monday, October 11, 2010

Can Predetermined Outcomes in "Science" be Bought?

Can science be bought? "Of course not!" is the anticipated retort from our research facilities.  
I ask this question because the "science" used to support the use of aerial 1080 in New Zealand, certainly indicates that it can.
Poor research - often relying on guesses, estimates, predictions and crystal ball gazing - is, it seems, all that is required to ensure the continuance of the broad scale, poisoning operations we have in this country.
Some of the science is so poorly structured and obviously bias, that once exposed, will likely have far reaching, negative consequences for reputable, educational institutions across New Zealand.
If reliable research really is hard to conduct on an ecosystem level, then perhaps our authorities shouldn't be dropping large quantities of poison-laced food, from helicopters, into our environment - and then fund the advocacy science to justify the practice!..

The following letter of resignation http://www.climatedepot.com/ , is from Harold Lewis - Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

In many ways, the issues he highlights below resemble a similar culture entrenched in the methodology of research being conducted into pest control in New Zealand...
Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society


Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis .From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara

To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society
6 October 2010

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence---it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'ĂȘtre of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.

It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford's book organizes the facts very well.) I don't believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:

1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate

2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer "explanatory" screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.

3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.

4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind---simply to bring the subject into the open.

5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members' interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell you that you cannot collect signatures on a vague petition, and then fill in whatever you like.) The entire purpose of this exercise was to avoid your constitutional responsibility to take our petition to the Council.

6. As of now you have formed still another secret and stacked committee to organize your own TG, simply ignoring our lawful petition.

APS management has gamed the problem from the beginning, to suppress serious conversation about the merits of the climate change claims. Do you wonder that I have lost confidence in the organization?

I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people's motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don't think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don't have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I'm not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.

I want no part of it, so please accept my resignation. APS no longer represents me, but I hope we are still friends.

Hal

Harold Lewis is Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, former Chairman; Former member Defense Science Board, chmn of Technology panel; Chairman DSB study on Nuclear Winter; Former member Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards; Former member, President's Nuclear Safety Oversight Committee; Chairman APS study on Nuclear Reactor Safety Chairman Risk Assessment Review Group; Co-founder and former Chairman of JASON; Former member USAF Scientific Advisory Board; Served in US Navy in WW II; books: Technological Risk (about, surprise, technological risk) and Why Flip a Coin (about decision making)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Congratulations Simon! - Local body elections

Congratulations Simon!

Firstly - Thanks to all those 4739 people (final count) that voted for me!
Secondly - A big thanks to those that helped with my campaign. It was incredible to see the support that came from all around the peninsula.
After final counting, I missed out by 378 votes! Not too bad.
It is true - I am dedicated to working for our environment, and I would have been dedicated to serving the people of the Thames-Coromandel Peninsula. However, Simon has won this election, and he is the best man for the job - that's the way the majority has voted.

We have a few more projects that we are committed to completing - and yes, they are all for the betterment of our environment, and New Zealand. I will then most likely head to Australia - to the delight of those perpetrating the ecocide taking place in this country, no doubt - and hide under a sun-scorched rock for a while.

We don't make lots of money from our documentary work, and no, we don't enjoy the condemnation that comes with presenting the truth.

However, we are in a position that means that we are able to present the facts about the atrocity that takes place in our wilderness areas, every week.

I hope that one day, those of you with blinkers on will finally open your eyes and realise what is really taking place in our forests.

Thanks again to those that supported this campaign.

Final results....

Constituency – Thames Coromandel (1 seat)

Candidate Name
FRIAR, Simon 5117

GRAF, Clyde 4739
SIELING, Dirk 3229

Monday, October 4, 2010

SPCA invites The Graf Boys to speak to their inspectors

Steve and I were invited by the SPCA to do a presentation for the North Island Inspectors and Centre Management Workshop 2010 conference held in Taupo, which covered Saturday and Sunday. We used a PowerPoint presentation, photos, and also showed the first 15 minutes of Poisoning Paradise, which included some of the animal welfare issues. About 70 inspectors from across the North Island, and a couple visiting from Australia, attended the 90 minute presentation.

Anti-1080 Taupo mayor Rick Cooper was also present, and addressed the crowd. The overall presentation went well, with a good number of the inspectors showing genuine interest and concern. It was interesting to note that only about 10% of the inspectors had seen Poisoning Paradise. Rick Cooper offered to have copies of Poisoning Paradise duplicated and supplied to the inspectors. As a result of this opportunity, I believe we will start to see more action from SPCA.

We later listened to a presentation from visiting American forensic scientist and entomologist (insects) Dr. Jason Byrd, who is also a member of the American SPCA. He investigates crime scene forensic cases, and is employed by a university in Florida, I think he said. He appeared on TVone's Closeup tonight. He showed similar concern to the aerial use of 1080 as Dr's Pat and Quinn Whiting-Okeefe, and other scientists and experts, in regard to dropping food, laced with poison, into an ecosystem.

Dr Byrd has agreed to be interviewed for the new doco we are working on, due for release next year.
He raised similar concerns to the late Mike Meads (who was also an entomologist), in regard to the Krebs cycle and how the Krebs cycle is a process used by most organisms. Even the ones that break 1080 down. He suggested that when the 1080 is broken down it is possibly changed into some other toxic entity.

Dr Byrd pointed out that our native koura, among other things, will most likely be affected, and killed by 1080, if enough is eaten - whereas our DoC denies 1080 harms koura. DoC claims koura can eat 1080, and just pass it out with no harm being done. We dispute this, and believe it should be researched further, as where koura are present, they are poisoned in all streams 3 metres in width and under, on all aerial drops where cereal bait is used. They are also a food source for other animals and fish.

Dr Byrd also pointed out that plants have a Krebs cycle, and depending on dose, could be negatively affected by up taking 1080. (Once again, depending on dose) This could translate into poor flowering, or growth for example. Admittedly DoC have continued to drop their application doses more and more over recent years. I believe this is because they have still not been able to find benefit, and only harm is being realised. I think when DoC get to the stage where they go so light in dose, that they aren't actually dropping the poison at all - is when they will find benefit.

After all, up until the 80's, when 1080 had never been used over much of the country, and even when wild animal numbers were high, and had been so for many years, the forests were in a far better state than they are now, including higher presence of bird numbers, and species - when compared to areas where 1080 has been repeatedly used.

CLICK HERE TO SEE US BILL TO BAN 1080

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Death by 1080 Vs Humane Death - Compare the photos


The following is a series of photos recently taken of two deer.
One series is of a necropsy of a deer killed by 1080.
The other is of a deer necropsied after being
shot through the neck, and died instantly.

Scientists (Dr Charles Eason, Dr Hugh Barr) estimate over 20,000 deer are killed every
year in New Zealand by 1080,
plus tens of thousands of native birds, and many pets and farm animals.

Death, for an animal shot through the neck, is instantaneous.
An animal poisoned with 1080 will take from two hours to die,
to several days, depending on the dose.
Some animals are only half  poisoned, and left to recover with
varying degrees of disability.


1080 is a favourite "tool" of our Department of Conservation,
the Animal Health Board, and some regional councils ...
who are all holding hands in perpetrating this gross
act of New Zealand ecocide!  

There are alternatives, and we will be addressing those in our new documentary. 

However, there is no question that 1080 is grossly inhumane,
and that as New Zealanders, through our authorities continued use
of 1080, we are all basted with the mass scale, animal cruelty brush.


DEER SHOT THROUGH NECK, KILLED QUICKLY


HIND KILLED BY 1080. Legs straight out, head twisted back.
This is consistent  with all deer found dead in 1080 drops.

FACE OF DEER THAT WAS SHOT


THIS IS THE FACE-DOWN SIDE OF HIND, KILLED BY 1080


EYE OF THE SHOT DEER

OTHER EYE OF THE HIND KILLED BY 1080 


BETWEEN BACK LEGS OF THE SHOT DEER

BETWEEN LEGS OF THE HIND KILLED BY 1080


LUNGS OF THE SHOT DEER




LUNGS OF DEER KILLED BY 1080
LUNGS OF SHOT DEER

HEART OF THE SHOT DEER
HEART OF THE HIND KILLED BY 1080

To view a documentary on the use of 1080 poison in New Zealand Click Here - Poisoning Paradise 

At the request of a concerned person, this photo has been added to show the bullet EXIT wound in the neck of the animal that died humanely, and was autopsied. It's the same deer, in the same position as the first photo in the series above. Yes people, any autopsy of an animal killed by 1080 will show the same thing, and so will any autopsy of an animal humanely killed by shooting. Death by 1080 is grossly inhumane, and that won't change because of our ignorance, or not wanting to accept it. 

To view a documentary on the use of 1080 poison in New Zealand Click Here - Poisoning Paradise

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poisoning Paradise wins Ireland film festival award



Poisoning Paradise has just won the ENVIRONMENT &
ECOLOGY category of the International Film Festival in Ireland.

Six films from around the world were nominated in this category.
Winners were announced in Ireland last night.

This is fabulous news for everyone who believes there are better
and more respectful ways to manage our environment and animals.

Thanks to everyone involved in making Poisoning Paradise.

Click here for news release

CLICK HERE TO VIEW IRELAND FESTIVAL RESULTS

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chris Short - anti-1080 campaigner loses battle with cancer


Through his solo-man, anti-1080 protests, Chris Short managed to draw international attention to the aerial 1080 operations which he so despised.

For many years New Zealand authorities have subjected our wildlife and people to repeated aerial 1080 poisoning operations - and for many years the people have fought back. But few battlers are willing to walk the plank Chris Short chose.

Chris was battling cancer - terminal cancer - when he ventured up Mt Tongariro to demand that our documentary Poisoning Paradise be played on national TV.
This came completely out of the blue for us. We had only met Chris, briefly, while at an Animal Health Board meeting several months earlier, so we were humbled by his stance.
National TV was not to grant Chris's request, but he certainly drew interest from around the world.
As Taupo Mayor Rick Cooper stated "you have to admire a man that draws a line in the sand and then defends that stance, no matter what".
Chris died on Tuesday, the 31st of August - he was 51 years old.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Poisoning Paradise nominated in Ireland

Poisoning Paradise - Ecocide New Zealand, only days after winning the Environmental & Ecology International Heart of England film festival award, has scooped another nomination at the International Film Festival Ireland.

Poisoning Paradise - Ecocide New Zealand is an in-depth, and critical film that exposes serious issues in New Zealand's aerial use of the deadly pesticide-insecticide 1080. New Zealand uses 90% of the world's annual production of the poison, which is manufactured in the United States. A bill to ban the manufacture, import and export of 1080 was introduced into US Congress in July.

However, we are starting to see increases in the level of spin-doctoring and glossy brochures put out by the Department of Conservation and the Animal Health Board, designed, it would seem, to counter the impact this film is having. Slowly but surely, though, the public are becoming more aware, and less tolerant of our poisoned animals taking from hours to days to die an inhumane, and protracted death. If international interest can help end this mass scale cruelty, then so be it!

Poisoning Paradise is one of six films nominated for the Environment & Ecology award in Ireland. The festival will run 6-12 September. For information on the festival visit http://www.amritsa.com/eire/index.htm Ends.

Click here for press release.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poisoning Paradise wins UK award


Poisoning Paradise, the Skeptic Society's Bent Spoon winner from 2009, has just won the best film award in the Environmental and Ecology International category at the Heart of England Film Festival in the UK. Poisoning Paradise was one of six international films nominated for the award.

This win is a strong endorsement for Poisoning Paradise. It seems it will take international intervention before the poisoning of our forests is properly addressed, and more responsible methods of pest management are employed.

We are still hoping national TV will play Poisoning Paradise, allow the public of New Zealand to become better informed, and make up their own mind about the reckless use of inhumane toxins.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved with making Poisoning Paradise, and to all the brave people that gave their testimonies, evidence and expertise. You're all marvelous!

We're now working on a 3rd and final chapter in a trilogy of 1080 documentaries, which focuses on safer, more community-friendly alternatives to the aerial distribution of 1080 poison. This film is not expected to be released for about 6 months.

A video trailer of Poisoning Paradise can be viewed at http://www.blogger.com/www.thegrafboys.org Ends.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Council urges AHB review

Council urges AHB review
By Laura Mills Hokitika Guardian Wednesday 11th August, and also Greymouth Star 11th August - Council demands AHB review

The Westland District Council has called on Parliament to not only cease all aerial 1080 drops, but review the entire Animal Health Board (AHB).
Mayor Maureen Pugh recently tabled a petition before Parliament's local government and environment select committee indicating that at least 90% of Westland residents were opposed to the toxin.
The committee then called for submissions, which have now been publicly released.
The Westland council's submission urged that "mass poisoning" be halted immediately until there could be a properly designed and executed study, independant of the Department of Conservation and Animal Health Board, showing the benefit of 1080.
The council also noted concern that, as a charitable trust, the AHB was not subject to the Official Information Act, and should be reviewed to see if it offered value to the taxpayer.
"The inability for the public to have access to the information held by the AHB breeds suspicion and mistrust within the community."
It said the AHB had avoided formally recording stock deaths.
"The tolerance for 1080 poisoning is at an all-time low and alternatives 'must' be trialed," the council submitted.
Against that, the Animal Health Board's submission said that in the past decade its strategy of using 1080 to kill possums had been effective in reducing Tb-infected herd numbers.
However, the West Coast still had disproportionately high infection numbers: "The region holds about 4% of all cattle and herds in New Zealand yet has over 30% of the nation's infected herds."
It said the Environment Risk Management Authority (Erma) had reviewed 1080 three years ago and found its use outweighed the adverse effects.
The board noted that the council had offered to work with the AHB and DOC to look into alternatives to the toxin, and while it was happy to do so, "we do not see any realistic prospects."
It had engaged independant survey professionals and in December 2009, 52% of those interviewed did not like 1080, but accepted the need for its use, the AHB submitted.
DOC was the third party to make a submission, and said the case for the continued use of aerial 1080 was "compelling."
It presented case studies, which showed 1080 was the cheapest option - in the Cascade this year the cost of ground control was $48.70 a hectare, compared with $17 a hectare for aerial control. The total saving by using aerial poison was close to $1 million.
Select committee chairman, the West Coast - Tasman MP Chris Auchinvole, yesterday could not say when the submissions would be considered: "It's on the timetable for consideration."

Thursday, August 12, 2010

THE COROMANDEL FIGHTS PENINSULA POISONS (TCFPP)


The following post, about to appear in the Hauraki Herald, is from battlers based in the Coromandel, and in response to DoC's poisoning campaign at Kennedy Bay...

THE COROMANDEL FIGHTS PENINSULA POISONS (TCFPP)

We are a group of local residents who passionately believe in controlling pests without poisoning the entire wildlife system at the same time.
On August 6 2010 a full-page advertorial appeared in this paper written by the new DOC manager for our area, Melissa King-Howell, "to inform the general public about the possum control planned for Kennedy Bay."
By August 6 this operation had only a week left to run and this is the first thing most people had heard of it.

WHY DO IT?
Some trees in the bush block are "suffering from excessive possum browse" says M King-Howell. And yet the possum count is only 5.8%. Thus the excessive browse must be either an invention or caused by some other creature. Too many kaka perhaps. Either way, reducing that figure of 5.8% to 3.8 or 2.1 is not likely to make much difference. Fact is, that figure was already reduced as most of the possums had moved to an untreated neighbouring block of pines which was in flower at the time of poisoning.
Why choose bait-stations which carve tracks through the bush at 200m grids creating more damage than an army of possums in a life-time?
M King-Howell adds that the by-kill of rats with 1080 has produced increases of tui and bellbird after one breeding season in other Peninsula pest control operations.
This too turns out to be untrue as Iris Jacobs' peninsula research reveals.
Iris' report is a little shaky on the facts but two unquestionable points emerge:
1. Tui, and pigeon did not increase their numbers during the first breeding season after rat-poisoning and
2. Before the second breeding season the rat population was larger than it had been before the poisoning began.
This increase of rats after poisoning is reckoned to be between 2.5 and 6 times the original population according to all the research that has been carried out on rat abundance. (See Sweetapple, P., et al 2006)
M King-Howell has used only four sentences of anecdotal whimsy to sell the need for this Kennedy Bay project. The rest of her page is devoted to "selling" the poison 1080.

1080 CONTINUES TO KILL DOGS:
"Without protection, predators will kill nine out of ten kiwi chicks" says M King-Howell. The only known predator to kill 9 out of 10 kiwi is dogs. Does this mean that the Kennedy Bay 1080 is aimed directly at dogs?

1080 GETS INTO WATER:
M King-Howell quotes Suren 2006 as an authority on 1080 breakdown in water. Had she read his actual report she would have found that Suren 2006 had done no research whatsoever into the breakdown of 1080 poison. All the "independent water tests" she talks about were taken by the Health Board. The Health Board is part of every aerial 1080 team and in no sense can be labeled "Independent".
"Water testing done after 1080 operation is carried out to confirm that toxin is no longer present. This is to ensure that intakes of water used for drinking are not reopened during the short time when 1080 will be present after an operation. Testing is thus for clearance, rather than to detect the presence of 1080." (Hood 2007)
Mr Suren 2006, on the other hand, went looking for poison and every water sample he took within a four hours of a 1080 drop was found to contain 1080. Where it goes to no one knows.
M King-Howell has taken one line from Suren's executive summary, but she has ignored the damning evidence contained in the heart of his report.
"As all spin doctors know it is a standard trick to write an Executive Summary to emphasise the points you want journalists to pick up, and leave the detail buried in the report itself where hopefully it will remain undiscovered." (Wishart 2008)

1080 CARCINOGENIC:
"1080 is not carcinogenic" says M King-Howell, as if this is an advantage. How do we know if 1080 is carcinogentic or not? If you get 1080 poisoning cancer has no time to develop; you are dead in a few days.

1080 LIKE DDT:
The sales propaganda for 1080 has been identical to NZ's other toxins such as DDT, dioxins and Brodifacoum. All these toxins have enjoyed continued use in NZ long after their use in the wild has been banned elsewhere.

WORKERS' HEALTH:
Even though research published in DOC's submission to ERMA revealed that 25% of all 1080 workers were carrying 1080 in their systems, M King-Howell states that "Their health is monitored and no issues with 1080 have been found". No worries for Melissa perhaps but if 25% of my workers were carrying detectable traces of 1080 it would be an issue for me.

ALTERNATIVES:
$4-5 million per annum is spent on scientific research into 1080 and other toxins. Traps, encapsulated cyanide and the bio-dynamic methods of pest control have all been developed with private money. They are cheap, totally species-specific, do not cause secondary poisoning, do not get in the waterways, and leave no hidden residues.
Why have the government research teams for so long had nothing to do with the development of these very genuine alternatives?
The only "alternative" toxin to emerge from decades of research and tens of millions of dollars, is called PAPP, which Mr Eason tells us is perfect in every way. Only thing is PAPP is harmless to possums!

POLICE:
An army of DOC staff arrived in Kennedy Bay in the early hours of the morning to fill 1200 bait-stations with 1080 and get the job done in 24 hours. They were accompanied by another army of police dressed in anti-terrorist gear and carrying guns and expecting to fill their paddy wagons. They closed off the poison area with numerous road blocks. They stopped the few locals going to work and interrogated them as if they were terrorists. 32 policeman-days lost that the police were not chasing real crime.

COST:
There has been much unnecessary spending on this operation which has left the community seething and divided.
Kennedy Bay is the first example of how DOC's poisoning regime will be carried out under Melissa King-Howell: No consultation or any information prior to poisoning. Secret poisoning if possible. If word leaks out beforehand, as it did in Kennedy Bay, and there follows the slightest murmur of disapproval, Melissa will wheel in the SWAT squad and quiet that disapproval with anti-terrorist measures.

There are several websites available that contain balanced information about the use of 1080 in New Zealand.

http://www.inchem.org/documents/icsc/icsc/eics0484.htm

The Stop 1080 facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-1080/175357873459?ref=ts

The Graf Boys
http://www.thegrafboys.blogspot.com/ http://www.thegrafboys.org

Monday, August 2, 2010

French TV crew to visit NZ

A French TV journalist is arriving this month to do a story on our possum, and the use of 1080 poison in New Zealand.

Dr. Quinn Whiting-Okeefe was asked by the researcher about papers used to support the use of 1080 poison. His comments, in blue, follow...

The essential facts and references are in Poisoning Paradise.

As scientists we would make five points:

First, the basic claim that one can put a universal poison into high quality food and drop in indiscriminately into ecosystems and only have a negative effect on two target species is a
priori extremely improbable. Such a claim should be viewed with utmost suspicion unless supported by the highest quality of scientific research. In fact there is no research at all addressing ecosystem level consequences of this bizarre program. Furthermore, individual studies are so poorly done and obviously biased as to be laughable.

Second, the NZ government's program of mass ecosystem poisoning is unprecedented so far as we can determine, i.e., no other country is doing or has ever done anything remotely similar to what the Department of Conservation in New Zealand is doing, unless one counts the US military’s mass poisoning with agent orange (dioxin) during its part of the Vietnam War, the consequences of which for the people of Vietnam were disastrous including birth defects and increased rates of various malignancies.

Third,
DoC’s own data show convincingly that many native species of birds and invertebrates are being killed by its aerial 1080 program. In several species the measured per drop kill rate is over 20% and in one over 30%.

Fourth, there is not a single scientifically credible study showing a benefit of aerial 1080 to any native species—not one. In fact,
DoC’s “research” attempting to show this is almost entirely junk.

Fifth, universally accepted standards of research design are almost never followed by
DoC funded studies. In fact it is recently claimed in an author-less paper published by DoC that such standards are “not applicable to ecology research” in New Zealand. What this implies is that the claims of the authors of these papers represent little more than the prejudices of their bosses at DoC whose budget is increased by at least $100M/year by the aerial 1080 program that indiscriminately spreads enough 1080 around the country to kill the entire human population of New Zealand 4 times over.

The whole thing is difficult to believe.


Unfortunately, there appear to be very few scientists in New Zealand that really care about what's taking place in our environment, or perhaps it's that they really don't know.
Or are they just afraid to speak out?
One thing I can say is, that what scientists like Dr. Whiting-Okeefe are saying is more consistent with what we've observed after years of investigating poison drop zones.

The view that 1080 is helping our forests, and that bird-life is abundant after aerial poison drops, is complete non-sense. We have traveled the country, visiting many drop sites, and we are yet to see any evidence of benefit from the use of 1080 poison. There is none!