Groups Protest Against Dioxin at Parliament

2 Dec 2004

Kingi Taurua

Vietnam war veteran Kingi Taurua speaks at the launch of Greenpeace’s “People Poisoned Daily” report at Parliament, Wellington, New Zealand

Parliament, Wellington: The groups here today represent Dioxin Investigation Action Group, SWAP – Sawmill Workers Against Poisons, Vietnam Vets. Te Waka Kai Ora and by proxy all peoples of Aotearoa/NZ.

This report shows that the entire country has been contaminated by dioxin, from 245T and 24D (the constituents of agent orange) on our land, our whenua and in our food chain. No informed consent was given by communities or the environment to be poisoned.

This report contains evidence that this contamination is a contributing factor to statistically high levels of a broad range of diseases that are related to dioxins. This sits alongside our knowledge of the impact of a range of other chemicals including as PCP, DDT and PCB.

These chemicals are now universally banned due to their ability to track through the food chain and accumulate in high levels in those in the top of the food chain such as us and dolphins.

We demand that the Government acknowledge the seriousness of this issue and investigate and take appropriate action to help those people affected and clean up the environment. This assessment must be capable of answering the serious concerns and questions that the community has about dioxins. This assessment must have the trust of the community.

Technical acceptance of these issues has now become mainstream, as indicated by the Ministry of Health issuing a more rigorous tolerable daily intake levels (TDI) for dioxin in 2002. Though even this, is protecting the liability of a few rather than the health of us all. Politicians have lagged behind in accepting the implications of these modern scientific findings and addressing issues .

The life of every New Zealander is too important for politicians to hide behind limp excuses and lame denials. The first hurdle in dealing with this is the recognize and acknowledge this has occurred. This report makes denial of the issue impossible. We need the Government to acknowledge the universal contamination of Aoteaora/NZ by dioxins and take action.

Statement made by Dioxin Investigation Action Group (DIAG), Sawmill Workers Against Poisons (SWAP), Te Waka Kai Ora, Vietnam Vets and Greenpeace Aotearoa/NZ.

2 Dec 2004 | JOINT Press Statement | scoop.co.nz | greenpeace.org | PR-GPEACE-03-Dec-04
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