Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Farmers are poisoning Canterbury

Thanks to intensive farming, a quarter of Canterbury's wells are close to exceeding safe nitrate limits:

Increased irrigation in Canterbury is putting newborn babies at increased risk from water contamination, a medical officer of health says.

Canterbury Regional Council figures show that for the ten years to the end of 2016, nitrate levels increased in 23 percent of monitored wells.

So far, high nitrate levels in Canterbury were confined to private wells and none of those serving communities had been found to have dangerously high readings.

However, a quarter of council-monitored wells are coming close to exceeding safe limits.

Babies can die from nitrate poisoning, and at least one has (others may have, but had the deaths misclassified as sudden infant deaths). And that's simply not an acceptable risk. Farming is a clear risk to public health, and its the job of the regional council and the government to regulate it so that it is not. And if this regulation means farmers make less money, then so be it - because it is not acceptable for people to profit by murdering children.