Tasmanian Times


Your say: chemicals

THE dismissive remark by the Government chemical products registrar John Mollison (reported in The Examiner 24 Sep) that levels of atrazine found in the Rubicon River are “not enough to cause people to jump up and down about human health” is typically patronising and in my opinion irresponsible.

There are many people who will jump up and down in frustration with a government which allows the existence in our waterways of a substance banned in many European countries and which has a demonstrated association with many types of cancer.

Just to make it clear to Mr Mollison (who, to be charitable, has missed the point), the reason the European Union has withdrawn support for atrazine is because it is unsafe at any level. Or has Mr Mollison another explanation for the EU decision?

Yours sincerely,
Mike Bleaney
St Helens

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Brenda Rosser

    October 24, 2005 at 9:33 am

    Claudius provides NO evidence whatsoever to back up his assertions.

    I am now formally requesting that you provide the evidence to support your unbelievable claims. That is, your claims that:

    (i) Our waterways (and water tanks) are contaminated at ‘extremely low levels’;

    (ii) That only a ‘minority’ of waterways are affected by contamination by pesticides;

    (iii) That ‘major human diseases are not caused by pesticides’;

    (iv) That changing disease patterns are caused by changing demographics in Tasmania. Specifically explain why our cancer rates have almost doubled in the last 3-4 decades and explain how this is linked to changing demographics in this state.

    I’ve been waiting for Government and industry spin doctors to answer these questions for years now, with no result so far. Over to you I Claudius!

    More reading:

    Our Stolen Future – recent important scientific studies
    Low dose effects

  2. Claudius

    October 10, 2005 at 2:46 pm

    This is one of those posts in a long, long line of posts positing that extremely low levels of pesticides in a minority of waterways is responsible for perceived problems in human health.

    The major human diseases are not caused by pesticides (or pesticides we imagine are there). The majority are caused by an interplay of ageing, genetics and obvious environmental influences (eg bad diet, smoking etc). Tasmania has an ageing, relatively healthy population – changing disease patterns are due to changing demographics. This continued nuttiness on Tas Times about government conspiracies and pesticides is very boring.


  3. Justa Bloke

    October 6, 2005 at 6:09 am

    “This lot” might well be remembered for their hauteur, their greed, and irresponsible behaviour, but the majority shareholders in the companies that make, distribute and use atrazine will be remembered for being extremely rich.

    That is what it is about and what it will always be about. There is more profit in a river full of poison than in a clean one.

    If you endanger someone’s life by drunk driving or an act of terrorism, you get punished. If you do it by putting atrazine in the water you get rich. It is as simple as that.

  4. Just frank

    October 5, 2005 at 9:10 pm

    John Mollison and his like minded Minister(s) may just one day wake up in deep shame. They make me very angry and I am not alone here!

    The Helicopter investigation debacle, what a sad joke, then on of them proudly drinking a glass of apparently contaminated water to publicly demonstrate “ministerial intelligence”,and now the Chemical Registrar demonstrating his cool responses… Dear oh dear!

    Yesterday the grinning Minister chlorophyll, seemingly as usual very relaxed about the road situation in Tasmania for now and in the future… He has the pomposity highlighting the potential that the mega pulp mill could be supplied by road freight only!

    These spoiled, overpaid characters do their arrogant and nasty daily media spin with a grin, a smile or a glass of potentially contaminated water.

    They travel to Japan and try to continue the dirty work, what do they think?

    On one day they sign a joint venture arrangement with some Japanese Paper companies, and then a while later, when the serious questions do not end, they talk about misinformation, green spin and Anti Tasmanian propaganda.

    I am confident that this lot will be remembered for their hauteur, their greed, and irresponsible behaviour, what else?

    To be frank, I have enough of these pretenders, and I am not sitting on my hands, yes I have a job and so do all the members of my family.

  5. Brenda Rosser

    October 5, 2005 at 3:36 pm

    Atrazine ‘regulation’ is a good example of how industry and Government exploit the limits to the science of toxicology.

    Some interesting reading at:

    History of Atrazine – headings:

    Insufficient data to assess endocrine disruption for most chemicals – August 2005

    European Union to ban Atrazine by early 2005

    NRDC files lawsuit against the US EPA over approval process for Atrazine – February 17th, 2005

    EPA concludes atrazine unlikely to be a human carcinogen and opposes further review of the chemical – July 2004

    White House releases blacked-out documents on Atrazine. Most withheld altogether – December 2003

    NRDC file lawsuit against EPA and White House for violating FOI – November 2003

    FOI requests from NRDC to EPA (re approval of Atrazine) fail – October 2003

    NRDC files lawsuit against the EPA regarding its approval of Atrazine – August 2003

    EPA finally accepts limited public comments on draft guidelines for the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program – March 2003

    UN Environmental Program lists Atrazine as a globally important persistent toxic substance – 2002

    Dr Tyrone Hayes Atrazine studies report reproductive and other hormonal effects on frogs – 2002

    Syngenta begins funding Ecorisk to investigate Atrazine – 1999

    Note: Non-Guideline Studies by the US EPA show Atrazine has endocrine effects

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