Chemical Drains: New Zealand’s new NPS-FW freshwater policy is not watertight.
Released December 2017, this paper was produced in response to a New Zealand political and regulatory environment that while claiming to have adequate standards for freshwater, ignores the increasing problem of agricultural chemicals and emerging chemical contaminants in freshwater, marine and groundwater.
Public Health Concern: Why did the NZ EPA ignore the world authority on cancer?
In 2015 the New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency engaged a retired toxicologist to produce a paper that would rely on industry studies to apparently dispute the 2015 determination that the herbicide glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The IARC is the NZ EPA's own authority on cancer. Following the release of the NZ EPA paper, New Zealand Green Party member of parliament Steffan Browning engaged Jodie Bruning as primary author to produce a document that would provide a resource to the New Zealand public, to help them understand regulatory decision-making in New Zealand, particularly in relation to this controversial finding.
Jodie Bruning & RITE - a Requirement for Independent Toxicity Evaluations
New Zealand based writer and researcher Jodie Bruning (B.Bus.Agribusiness Monash University Australia) established the site SafeSaysWho.com in 2012 in an effort to understand whether the pesticides studies held with 3 assessment agencies - the US EPA, WHO and European Commission - were safe. Were they independent, transparent, and up to date? Were permitted residues levels on our food as a result of toxicity studies declared at the lowest safe levels? What did the studies actually research?
RITE is a consequence of this investigation. SafeSaysWho.com identified the fundamental flaws and failures of the 3 pesticide toxicity assessment systems from an international perspective. It revealed that the entire system favours industry, is overtly biased and hampered by outdated science and guidelines. It is built on a limited budgetary and economic base which neatly facilitates industry capture of the regulatory system.
RITE provides the framework to fix it.
Most researchers and scientists work within their own countries or regions to advocate for change within their own broken assessment organisations. For example independent scientists, the public, members of parliament and public interest organisations in Europe are currently lobbying EFSA to make many of the same changes to the European assessment standards that are included in the 10 demands of RITE. RITE worked with European scientists and researchers to shape the 10 demands and produce the safest and most practical guidelines possible.
RITE framework, or guidelines are not currently utilised by the three dominant agencies that assess pesticide toxicity throughout the world. But importantly, the countries that depend on these agencies then, like dominoes falling, cannot properly address public health risk when they adopt these prominent agency assessments. The same model that fails to protect the public interest repeats itself on every continent. These agencies are our gatekeepers, but their decisions are framed in financially restricted opaque regulatory environments, rely on hidden data, and are facilitated by cosy relationships with the same industry that is dependent on a favourable outcome.
The model is repeated in regulatory agency, after regulatory agency. This model works perfectly well for industry.
It's time it worked well for the most vulnerable - our pregnant mothers, our babies, our children and our adolescents. Our baseline should be ecosystem health, rather than short-term economic trade-offs.
Contact: Getting In Touch - RITE
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