“This Westport rat story casts some very real doubts about the “science” behind the 1080 programme. Is any of it credible? Has it all been similarly manipulated?… This poisoned rat story has exposed facts which raise huge concerns about DoC’s methods.” –John Veysey
John Veysey of Coromandel has been following the whole sorry saga since 700 dead rats, a goat, birds and marine creatures washed up on North Beach, Westport on 8 November 2019…. one week after an aerial 1080 drop upstream. Below is his mail.
I have just got hold of Stuff’s Newsroom report of Dr. Nick Wall’s exposure by Farah Hancock, released on 20 December 2019. This report raises a number of very real concerns for those who have been following the story after dead rats, birds, crayfish and starfish were washed up on West Coast beaches.
To start with DoC’s Mark Davies suggested the possibility that the dead rats could have washed downstream after a 1080 drop up-river so he took some of the rats away for “testing” by what he claimed was an “independent” lab. DoC’s “independent” lab was actually a government lab run by govt-employed analysts. They failed to find any 1080, DoC said.
When a genuinely “independent” lab was given the same rats they found traces of 1080 poisoning in three forms: sodium fluoroacetate, fluorocitrate and the dye used in DoC’s baits.
Nick Wall runs the independent lab which detected the 1080 and, according to the Newsroom report, he is a high-powered and highly-thought-of analyst whose expertise has previously been sought by numerous government departments. The genuineness of Dr Wall’s independence is confirmed by the fact that he has, in the past, come up with results which have not always suited the government departments which hired him.
Now he has done it again. Nick Wall has found traces of 1080 poisoning where DoC’s analysts could not, and the Department of Conservation appears bereft of credible answers.
David Hansford is DoC’s spokesman on this issue. The last we heard from David Hansford he was telling an interviewer on the radio that he had never seen a bird which had been poisoned by 1080. Now Hansford has been put forward to criticize a man who has not only seen a poisoned bird but opened up such a bird and found traces of 1080 inside. Hansford, without any experience, pitted against an expert, Nick Wall.
Throughout this poisoned rat story DoC has shown complete disinterest in their own credibility.
When the government’s chemists were asked why they did not find fluoroacitrate they replied that they had only been asked to look for fluoroacetate. Nick Wall’s lab found traces of sodium fluoroacetate and yet the government lab could not. The fact that they could not detect sodium fluoroacetate brings into question the credibility of their procedure. Is it out of date?
There have been lot of negative results which have come from these government analysts in the past. Now one can’t help asking if any of those results were accurate.
More than 3000 water samples came up clear of poison and these have been touted as proof that 1080 poison does not enter our stream water. Government scientist Alexander Suren revealed that all these clear water tests were not looking for 1080. When Suren looked, he found 1080 in practically all the streams he tested. He made the point that 3000 clear water samples taken at the wrong time do not prove that 1080 has not been in the water, it only means that the samplers and maybe the testers were not trying to find 1080. Suren was most insistent to state that it was easy NOT to find 1080. He had taken great pains to detect it, but detect it he had.
How must Fonterra be feeling after paying $18 million to these same government analysts for clear results on tens of thousands of baby formula samples? Maybe some of these samples were not clear of 1080 at all.
Government lab workers and scientists are apparently bewildered at how Nick Wall’s independent lab could have come up with such conflicting results. Not only did the government lab technicians fail to find sodium fluoroacetate they did not even spot the dye. That they failed to find 1080 may be blamed on out of date machinery but the dye could have been seen with the naked eye. The only excuse these government analysts can come up with is that they were not asked to look for the dye – which, like the fluorocitrate, sounds like manipulation.
This Westport rat story casts some very real doubts about the “science” behind the 1080 programme. Is any of it credible? Has it all been similarly manipulated?
This poisoned rat story has exposed facts which raise huge concerns about DoC’s methods. Nick Wall’s results came in a fraction of the time and cost of the government’s lab. If his results were correct then Nick Wall has plenty to teach the Landcare analysts.
As the University of Otago’s Dr Belinda Cridge says: “The results that were published contain several very unusual findings which are in direct conflict with all published studies to date, which means that an open and robust scientific discussion needs to take place. We need to determine why such anomalous results may have occurred and assess any further downstream implications.