Friday, November 12, 2010

Dow Didn't Do It. Yea, Right!

The latest (and probably last) official study into a possible link between dioxin and birth defects in New Plymouth...could not find anything!
Our government has acknowledged that residents near the former Ivon Watkins Dow chemical plant (in Paritutu, NP) were exposed to airborne dioxins during 245-T manufacture from 1962-1987. It's also conceded that birth defects in the families of NZ Viet Nam soldiers were caused by being sprayed with 245-T. But somehow the connection between 245-T and the innocent populace of NP officially can't be made!
The report compared birth defects at National Women's Hospital Auckland and NP's Westown Maternity Hospital in the '60s. With the limited knowledge available then, researchers could not prove what caused the defects eg: it was not known at the time about folate deficiency causing spina bifida.
NP dioxin researcher Andrew Gibbs says the report masks the cluster of birth defects in Paritutu in the '60s and early '70s because it used figures from all over the city: "The denial of birth defects is absolutely ridiculous. It's sad they didn't follow their own briefing to focus on Paritutu." Gibbs has fought for an investigation for ten years. He believes there was a six-fold rise in birth defects in Paritutu during the peak emission times in the mid '60s-early '70s!
The Green Party says government has an ongoing responsibility to take care of the affected community rather than the community having to prove what was wrong with them...that the focus should be on Dow proving it did not poison the people.
The DOW Agroscience plant in Paritutu, New Plymouth...guilty?
How obvious must guilt be?
I lived near the plant in 1984-85. Late at night, we'd often hear a roar from there (as if a holding tank was being vented) and after such an event, my partner'd always be incapacitated with a vicious migraine. Coincidence?
Meanwhile anyone who lived in Paritutu then, who had a child born with a birth defect, will always be left wondering if the exposure made a difference to their child...
The full report and earlier studies are on the ministry's website. Investigate published an article on the 245-T issue in 2000.

PS: See also who'll be paying for the down-stream damage of Agent Orange...

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