Smear Job

Oops 1080 with out the Green die the public have access to.

Oops 1080 with out the Green die the public have access to.

“Eco-terrorism”, boomed John Key in a locked down press conference, as Key got to name the guilty parties despite the investigation, started more than four month ago, having not arrested anyone.

In fact police had only begun interviewing people who could help them in their inquiry persons of interest in the days after Key conference where on the same day Key had made inquiries into whether the SIS could begin working along side the police to “help” in domestic criminal investigation. Oddly without exception the people of interest would turn out to activist who had a public profile in denouncing the use of 1080. Or those who set out to create public awareness on the danger of 1080. Even though the forensic evidence in fact clearly pointed to the 1080 coming from within the 1080 industry itself as scientists  would testify.

Those spoken to by the police where not exactly the kind of people you would expect to put toxins in a baby formula or those stupid enough to think that such a publicity stunt would do any thing but demonize and undermine years of work, grass root activism, which was increasing succeeding in showing the dangers of 1080 or those that defended the use of 1080 were just plain wrong and spoke from a conflicted position often driven by personal financial profit. Days later Key’s “eco terrorism” witch hunt would hit a major obstacle when it dawned on scientists, asked to comment, that the 1080 found in the envelopes containing the letters (threatening to add the 1080 to baby formula) came not in the form of pellets available to the wider public but in a white powdered form. It prepossessed  form available only to those in the industry of manufacturing 1080. Oooop some one had blundered it would seem.

Only a few people had access to the 1080 poison used in the baby-milk blackmail letters, says a food safety expert Dr Steve Flint. The letters to Fonterra and Federated Farmers received in November contained white powder, not the coloured, dyed pellets containing additives used in bait drops. Yet, confronted with this hugely significant fact the NZ police still maintained they “would not rule out the chances that a blackmailer had collected dropped 1080 pellets and managed to refine them back to white powder”.

Occam Razor

A conspiracy theory which sparked a skeptical response from Massey University food safety specialist Dr Steve Flint. “That’s highly unlikely. They’d have to have a knowledge of chemistry and facilities to do that. That’s certainly not a sensible approach.”  Dr Flint agreeing that it went against Occam’s principal (when face with an unkown and provided with several explanation the most simple explanation is usually the correct one), to conclude that the black mailer would do this instead of just grinding bait pellets up. “What would be the point” said Dr Flint.

Asked if the powder could have come from offshore instead he replied this was possible but then argued out “how would you get the white powder pass border patrol” and again what would be the point “when you could just pick the pellets off the ground, laboratories or suppliers were the most likely source”, stated Dr Flint. Dr Flint had being asked to make comment by Massey External media relations, as an expert in food safety, with his original comment picked up by Radio New Zealand then other multiple news syndicates thereafter who all deemed him a credible authority and expert.

The Postman then contacted Professor Ian Shaw of Canterbury University Toxicology and asked is their anyway of identifying the source of the 1080 used in the black mail attempt. Dr Shaw replied the only way to identify the source was to “conduct high performance liquid chromatography of the 1080 to examine it for impurities”.  The specific of these impurities (“chemical trace amounts”) would identify where the 1080 was manufactured the “differences between countries if thy use different manufacturing processes; this MIGHT be used to distinguish between the sources”. Such as the USA were NZ buys most of its 1080 or in China, which is the past has being at the centre of number of agricultural crisis of NZ products which have impacted on NZ wider economy.

It "could have" come from some one taking pellets and extracting the Green dye and other additives say NZ police - a simple test would answer that so why wont police say if they have done that or not?

It “could have” come from some one taking pellets and extracting the Green dye and other additives say NZ police – a simple test would answer that question. S o why wont police say if they have done that or not?

Market Shenanigans

In the minutes before the 3.45pm announcement, the Kiwi went from US73.40c to US72.80c but rebounded to US73.10c when the announcement came out. The New Zealand dollar was going down “as talk of a big announcement about the dairy industry – by far the country’s biggest export – spread through the financial markets”. Begging the question how come the market and currency traders knew in advance but the public did not?

The investigation had sat for four months before being pulled out in unprecedented locked down press inquiry in which awkward questions could not be raised as the news broke.  Yet those in the market place had pre-knowledge provided with information which came from either the National Party of those in Fonterra with knowledge of the investigation.

1080 CSI

Professor Shaw concurred with Dr Flint that to break the 1080 down and refine it back to its original form would require “expert skills” to extract the unique green dye and other additives. “Absolutely” sated Dr Shaw. The Postman then spoke to Greg Olgive at Police Communication to inquire if police had conducted any test to identify where the 1080, used in the crime, was made. “Were not willing to comment on specifics at this point” replied Mr Olgivie. Again presumably and HLCP would show up impurities if the 1080 had being processed and the dye and additives removes as trace chemical elements would still emerge to show the dye and additives added to processed 1080 at a late date.

The Postman pointed out to Mr Olgivie the police statement they “would not rule out the chances that a blackmailer had collected dropped 1080 pellets and managed to refine them back to white powder” would seem to indicate the police had in fact not conducted a “high performance liquid chromatography”  (HPLC) test. For surely if they had they would know one way or the other whether they were dealing with prepossessed 1080 or 1080 broken down and return to it original form.

The HLPC procedure would show trace component of the green die and additives if in fact they had being added at all. While identifying other impurities which allow investigator to trace it back to original point of source.

Mr Olgivy reply to this question was “Right [long pause]”

Mr Olgivy  the stated “police were not willing to comment on specific of their investigation at this stage”.

John use 1080 to let the NZSIS stat investigating criminal affairs.

John use 1080 to let the NZSIS start investigating criminal affairs.

On March 11th, the same day John Key broke the news of 1080 black mail before  a Parliament intelligence and security committee, the head of the SIS, Rebecca Kitteridge, if the SIS could be called into help the police inquiry. To date that inquiry has focused on those involved in anti 1080 protest including Grant Graf .

Yet none of the identified parties in fact have the required expertise needed to take 1080 pellets break them down and then extract the green dye and other additive (and for what purpose). While oddly such activist have in fact only being contacted following John Key  ”eco terrorist”  press conference. This is despite the police knowing of the black mailers letter over four months ago.

Mr Olgivy maintains that this is because the police “having completed their preliminary phase” and having made the matter public were now able to start interviewing those who might help in their inquiries. Asked if this would include those not just involved in activism but also the manufacturing of 1080 Mr Olgivy responded the “police would not comment on specific details of the investigation”. Asked how could activists with no scientific expertise, required to extract the green dye and additives (including a poet) help police inquiries, repeated that “police would not comment on the specific of the investigation”.
In January 2015 large Crowds gathered to protest against West Coast Council Investment in 1080.

(Photo above ) In January 2015 large Crowds gathered to protest against West Coast Council investment in 1080.


Follow the Money Honey (Motive Method Opportunity);

Dr Flint believes the most likely source of the 1080 used in the crime is NZ
That it came from a laboratory or manufacturing center here in NZ.

He was aware that some toxicology lab did have 1080 samples and that it was manufactured in Wanaganui, Waimate and in Christchurch, where it was tightly controlled in facilities.

Facilities where it emerged major share holders included the West Coast Regional Council who held a 49% stock in the Rolleston plant Pest Control Research NZ Ltd. Other facilities include Animal Control Products Ltd (ACP), a Crown-owned company, which manufactures more than 90 per cent of the pesticide formulations containing 1080 used in New Zealand.

ACP has a manufacturing site in Whanganui and previously had one in Waimate.

It would be interesting to know where exactly the letters posted to Fonterra and Federated Farmers came from but the police are not letting out “specifics” of their ‘investigation’.

Oh Deer oh Deer Oh Deer me

Two days after the black mail announcement was made the The Department of Conservation announced “it had put off its big 1080 drop in Makarora until later this year and might even cancel it’. They denied this had anything to do with the 1080 black mail scare.

The cancellation of a drop in the lakes district comes just two month after the carcasses of four whitetail deer had been found in a small section of upper Wakatipu forest, also popular with visiting tourists,  following a Department of Conservation (Doc) 1080 drop in the area a month ago.

A search for dead deer was carried out across 4sq km of the Dart and Routeburn Valleys from September 18 to 21, about three weeks after Doc dropped 1080-laced pellets across about 20,000ha of the Dart, Routeburn and Caples Valleys. The search was led by Queenstown-based Lincoln University PhD student Kaylyn McBrearty, who began a study of the area’s whitetail herd earlier this year. The search area was effectively a sample, and she would extrapolate the results to assess the impact of the 1080 operation on the area’s whitetail population as a whole at a latter point.

McBrearty had sent tissue samples to Landcare Research for toxicology testing, and hoped to make a preliminary report within a month before publishing a full report early next year.

1080: Increasingly the evidence is the multi-billion dollar crown owned business is killing more than possums.

1080: Increasingly the evidence is the multi-billion dollar crown owned business is killing more than possums.

Turns out this is the tip of trail of carnage which take about 15 seconds to unearth if you peruse mainstream media report on line.

In August 2014 West Coast Farmer Wayne Fairhall of Kaiata told the New Zealand Herald he head lost over 2/3 of his deer herd to 1080 drops. “after he found a dead deer in the gateway. I got worried and started walking through the paddock and found more deer. I went round and there was 1080 everywhere.” A further four deer found dead on a farmer’s bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park.

Deer Repellent was added in 2012 after SPCA received numerous complaint of deer dying in excruciating pain due to 1080 the SPCA stated there is “no approval to use 1080 as a deer poison in New Zealand and due to its excruciating effects on deer, all measures should be taken to avoid deer eating the baits. This would involve adding deer repellent to the 1080” Adding a further cost to possum control that the Department of Conservation (DOC) saw initially as unacceptable due to it adding to the cost of the poison classed in the USA as being a  super toxin.  They claimed not that 1080 did not kill deer but that deer repellent did not work. A staggering and self incriminating statement which indeed confirms what activist have long said that the pellets do endanger wild life and not just deer this includes birds, deer, frogs and insects.  Certainly the cases of native Kea being drawn to and killed by 1080 pellets are numerous and easy to find;

The Repelling Facts

The need to add repellent simply high lights the absurd position by DOC to defend the use of 1080 when new trapping technology could improve possums trapped and profits.

Profits that make trapping a lucrative industry, bring in taxable income often into impoverished areas for whom the added 1080 bill is an expense they can do with out.

Money for all instead of a concentrated few.

Either way the evidence is increasingly over whelming that the 1080 worth 600 million, a decade, to government coffers and manufacturing share holders, via sales to local council is a risk to NZ wild life and the public. It is news that the likes of the NZ Dairy Board will not find welcoming as they fear that the TB carried by possums for which the 1080 is principally deployed will in turn risk  their multi billion dollar dairy industry.
If you looking for those with the method, motive and opportunity, to access 1080 in it powder form so as to make a threat of black mail to  discredit 1080 activism, divert attention away from the mounting evidence high lighting the dangers of 1080, the police might be better investigating those within the industry with access to the powder in it original form. Which so far does not seem to have occurred despite the raw science making it clear this is the logical thing to be doing.

A view which is only entrenched when previous “blackmail” threats it turns out emerged in the early 2000’s soon after DOC had to admit that 1080 in fact did endanger “some” native frogs and insects.

All in all the allegation of eco -terrorism combined with news the SIS are to become involved, gestapo style, in domestic police investigations (as 10,000 march against the idea of profit before people), poor poll results makes John’s desire to see the culprits be labeled “eco terrorists” seems awfully coincidental.

You can not but help think, in the face of an apparent lack of forensic methodology, this is appearing more and more like a smear job.  A politically motivated witch hunt as opposed to a genuine police investigation where no on comment on who the suspect are until all the facts are actually in.

Smear Job

Comments 31

  1. Barbara Duckett

    I am sorry to read your review. It lacks facts and understanding of why 1080 is used. Its not ideal and no Pro 1080 supporter would contend otherwise. BUT, it is the easiest safest and most cost effective beneficial tool to use against the overwhelming numbers of pests in our landscape. We are losing our native flora and fauna at a huge rate because they have no financial value. Deer possums and the rest do. 1080 is environmentally safe to use in the form that has now been developed. Over time it is continually refined and adapted for better application to targeted pests. Why use it in huge amounts? well not that much actually and not over all the country all the time. Areas most vulnerable in any given year are treated. New Zealand does not have the manpower nor can it afford to support the manpower needed to do the work in place of 1080. The occasional accidental over drop does happen, it is not premeditated nor is it deliberate. At the same time, accidental deaths of farm animals have been arranged for financial reward from insurance and or compensation claims against AHB, Regional Councils, 1080 applicators. And for many dog owners, it is their own responsibility to follow all the warnings , signage and advice NOT to let their dogs eat carcasses within the 1080 drop zone. teh charges of cruelty should be rightly laid at the dog owners door.

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      Ben Vidgen

      Thanks for your comment

      For the record I spent two month on the West Coast then in north Island talk to trappers, greenies, pro 1080 farmers, anti 1080 farmers, doc, and pretty much any one with an opinon. I also sourced material and documents from MFAT / DOC and Im afraid to say the only place I could ever see it being used is in the high country where you can send in trappers.

      Even there techniques can be deployed to chase vermin out of these area and into killzones where new trap tech makes trapping effective and profitable.

      Your why use such quantities well not that much is wrong Im sorry we use 28,000 kg in west coast alone in one year this is verse 3kg used for the entire continent of the USA.

      Your issue over fauna is interesting and I will have to go away and think about that.

      Accidental death any proof of that – further in contrast of recent academic studies on deer, kea, frogs, insects the news for the pro 1080 group is not looking good. This in addition to doc admitting the deer repellent and kea repellent on 1080 does not work.

      But the main point of this article was not pro or against but to high light a serious forensic anmoally in the case regarding how the 1080 was discovered and where it originates from according to the best forensic methodology available

    2. Melisss

      Barbara, I believe you are the one who is missinformed. Try researching 1080 outside of the info DOC provides and you will get the real facts on this posion. It is not the safest option at all. As for “the occasional accidental over drop…” because so many farmers are contracted to keep silent and are paid off for their loss of cattle, we will never know exactly how bad the over spread really is, unless DOC and the govt come clean and release the info, which will never happen. They are too busy with their agenda. We can only go off the people who are able to discuss it, and there are many. The over drop usually causes large stock losses. But that’s all beside the point. This is a deadly toxin, being brazenly spread across our country, being dropped in areas of bush the provide water to the town water supply is, well words fail me on how ludicrous this is.

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  2. TheKeyling

    DOC has been using 1080, to exterminate deer in various areas for many years. They don’t care, they just us it as a tool of choice. It is already in the water, meat and dairy products. Plenty of previous reports on that.

    There is correspondence between DOC and Forest and Bird on the extermination of residual Kakapo pockets dating back over many years.

    Kakapo have been know to exist in isolated areas on the South Island, however these pockets have been hit with multiple loads of 1080. There are no longer Kakpo in these areas upon last reports.
    DOC killed them.

    Time for DOC to be brought under control, and accountability.

  3. Jim Hilton

    AnBarbara Duckett = shill=astroturfer, just a recent fake profile in a long line from the Poison Industry’s Dirty Tricks Campaign, Like Dan Kane, Nic Simmons, James Mason, Peter Pink, Ricky Red, Petunia Purple, Lizard in a wine glass, Birds can talk……. The Poisoners are so naive, NZ is too small for anonymous fakes to evade detection. Visit the Facebook page “1080 does the job you don’t” to see their toxic style Then visit eye or NO and make up your own mind who has the moral high ground.

  4. Crash Fon-terror Stocks and Market Share

    Which Ministers in NZ have dairy milk powder companies?

    It all becomes very transparent – very quickly.

    The Police already know who did it.

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      Ben Vidgen

      John Key to name one —the list is awfully long.

      That would not surprise me the feed back is the cops a going through the motions ecuase they have being told to.

  5. andy blick

    I’ll have to say there are a few typos which do detract, ( have to watch it meself) but otherwise good stuff. By this threat of action, most of us, anti-poison people, are out of the picture. Events are beyond our influence, we have become spectators of a much bigger game. The Govt, Pro-1080ers, DoC, etc, now have to decide how much they are prepared to gamble, to keep their beloved poison on the table. The genie is out of the bag, the baby formula industry is at risk. How much fear and panic from consumers can it take? I bought a bottle of juice from the supermarket the other day and momentarily thought; what if this had 1080 in it? I am poison phobic, I felt a momentary doubt. That is what it must be like for parents of young children. Not good. If no one is caught by the end of march the threat is live. My view there is no question; 1080 has to go. It use wasn’t even defendable before this happened.

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  6. Ian Rist

    I cannot believe Duckett’s comment # 1.
    I guess you are the same Duckett that works with Landcare and Fisher ?

    You 1080 terrorists are the ones avoiding responsibility, how dare you blame dog owners.
    You are the people that are responsible for the possum/deer carcasses and by law you are open to litigation leaving said carcasses on public and private
    Have you read the World Health Organisation requirements lately?

  7. David Obendorf

    It is important to note that New Zealand is a manufacturer – yes, a maker – of Sodium fluoroacetate [Compound 1080]. In fact your own New Zealand Parliamentary records show a Governmemt-owned company called Animal Control Products Ltd headquartered in Wanganui produced between 2 and 3 tonnes of Compound 1080 annually from 1997/98 to 2001/02.

    In a NZ Herald article published last March it stated:

    ‘This country is the world’s biggest user of 1080. Each year we [New Zealand] use about 80 per cent of world production in relentless attacks on pests including possums …’

    ’DoC intends to drop some 650 tonnes of bait containing 975kg of 1080 on 500,000ha of native forest, most of it in the South Island. The targeted areas cover some of the country’s most dramatic settings – and where high-value, backcountry freshwater fishing spots can be found.’

    ’The company [Animal Control Products Ltd based in Wanganui], which did not return calls, said in its 2013 annual report that it held 7.67 tonnes of 1080 powder, which would appear more than enough to meet the increased poisoning operations planned for later this year and the next few years.’

    Reference: NZ Herald, 1 March 2014 – “1080 to rain down on native forests’ – by Andrew Stone

    The ACP Ltd June 2011 Statement of Corporate Intent for 2012-2014 confirms that it will stock pile 4 years of 1080 powder as a reserve.

    This is an astonishing amount of 1080 aerially broadcast onto your forests annually and this is a phenomenal stockpile of pure 1080 kept in your country. And this is anstonish amount to be kept in New Zealand in a pure concentrate form.

    1. Neville Du Fall

      David, New Zealand doesn’t manufacture high grade 1080 powder, this is imported from Tull Chemicals in the USA. NZ imports this high grade 1080 Poison and then this is processed into a palletised form suitable for distribution by helicopter by Animal Control Products which I believe is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE), in Whanganui. Part of this processing includes the addition of a dark green dye which is supposed to reduce the by kill of non targetted species.

      Anyone who has anything to do with paint or dye knows that to remove a dark dye from a white base product is all but impossible. This should very quickly point the appropriate authorities in the right direction in this ongoing Police investigation. As someone who was interviewed by Police, I did point this out to the two detectives.

      Given the limited number of people who would have ready access to “high grade 1080 Poison powder” I am surprised at the time it has taken to find the person or people responsible. I am also very surprised to find that NZ Police are still interviewing those who have always actively denounced the use of this toxic poison, when these very people being interviewed would be amongst some of the most least likely to have access to this restricted “high grade” of 1080 Poison.

  8. John Stuart

    Barbara Duckett,if that’s your real name?.Madam,you’ve very conveniently left out the most important bits!.
    For one the Manufacturers instructions on use of 1080 expressly state NOT to be spread aerially,NOT to be used near Waterways,or Water supplies.All carcasses to be picked up out of waterways( yes animals head to water) .
    Our great DoC spout how good GPS usage prevents 1080 getting where it’s not wanted!.Oh Dear me,please take a look at DoC aerial maps IV GPS over flights of Mt Pirongia,which incidentally supplies TeAwamutu’s Fonterra milk Factory’s water,plus Pirongia township,and of course all those Dairy farms..
    If there’s any “ECO-TERRORISM” in NZ look no further than people like yourself Madam,you and your scions of DoC.
    DoC have effectively wiped out the. Rock Wren,smashed the Kea to ?God knows where,DoC and this insidious poison must be halted NOW.
    Too late when our fauna is gone.
    A lot of people probably don’t even know that 1080 is firstly an INSECTICIDE,yes that’s right.It kills little bugs etc that our birds live on.Never mind the Possum!!.DoC has been poisoning for 60 years….yet Madam we STILL HAVE POSSUMS!!!..

  9. Ian Rist

    Your claims of 1080 being a naturally occurring substance is a complete lie…I suggest you absorb the following:
    Toxicological research involving fluorocitrate, the toxic metabolite of sodium monofluoroacetate (fluoroacetate), which is the active ingredient in the pesticide Compound 1080. Many toxicological studies have been done with fluoroacetate and the results obtained are actually due to the fluorocitrate because it has been definitely proved that, from a biochemical perspective,fluoro- acetate is not toxic but fluorocitrate is. The classical explanation of the toxic action of fluoroci- trate is that it inhibits the enzyme aconitase in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Deactivation of aconitase results in decreased energy production by cells and ultimately death of the organism. However, the more recent explanation of fluorocitrate’s mode of action is that it binds with mito- chondrial protein which prevents transport of citrate and its utilization by cells for energy production. Metabolism studies indicate that only small amounts, perhaps less than 3%, of fluorocitrate is formed from fluoroacetate. From the limited number of acute and chronic studies conducted with fluorocitrate it does not appear to be as potent as fluoroacetate by either the oral or parenteral routes of admini- stration. This decreased level of toxicity is thought to be due to the larger molecular weight of fluorocitrate which would not be as readily absorbed by tissues. Central nervous system toxic mani- festations (i.e., tremors, convulsions) are characteristic in many animals poisoned with fluoroacetate. Fluorocitrate administered directly into the brain was found to be 100 times more toxic than fluoro- acetate. The accumulation of citrate in organs is characteristic of fluorocitrate poisoning; from a quantitative point of view the liver is less affected than the brain, heart, kidney, or spleen. Fluorocitrate causes extensive kidney damage, but the testes are most sensitive to sublethal doses. Testicular damage may be either reversible or irreversible, depending upon the dose. Several plants have the ability to metabolize both fluoroacetate and fluorocitrate from either inorganic or atmospheric fluoride.

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