In his latest letter to residents of St Helens (March 18, download below) Dr Roscoe Taylor again conjures up a story to say that there is: “no indication of rising cancer rates in the area”.

This was also his message in his last letter to residents.

Is he unable to utter the scientific findings (from the Menzies Centre) that the incidence of all cancer in Tasmania (excluding skin cancer) is rising at alarming rates: 41% for males and 33% for females during the period 1980 – 2006?

The half-truth of Dr Taylor’s position is this: there is no statistical difference between the rate of cancer in the Break O’ Day municipality and the rest of Tasmania. From this ‘no statistical difference’ Dr Taylor wants us to believe that there are: “no rising cancer rates in the area.” This is simply untrue.

Such a statement of “no rising cancer rates” is like the Captain of the Titanic reassuring those people on the St Helens deck that there is no difference between them and the people on all the other decks. The fact that the ship has struck an iceberg and sinking is apparently of no importance to Dr Taylor.

The Director of Public Health cannot bring himself to actually admit the dire situation of rising rates of cancer throughout Tasmania. These shocking increases include the St Helens area.

The significance of these state wide increases in cancer rates is that almost all water catchments have been sprayed with pesticides and many have E.niten plantations growing in them.

If Dr Taylor is unable to give the public the benefit of simple truthful statements he should resign.


Dr Andrew Lohrey,

Download: 0318-Letter_to_St_Helens_residents_-_St_Helens_Water.pdf