Thursday, January 31, 2019

Farmers should not be allowed to poison people

Poisoning people is a crime. If I poisoned someone's drinking water supply, and they got sick or died, I would be going to jail. But the law is apparently different for North Canterbury farmers. Down there, they are being allowed to knowingly poison people's drinking water supplies with nitrate, which poses a risk of death for babies and a long-term risk of bowel cancer for adults. Why? Because they would lose money of they had to stop:

A large North Canterbury irrigation scheme is being allowed to exceed recommended levels of nitrate in the water, potentially for years.

That's despite the known risk that it could cause blue baby syndrome.

The Amuri Irrigation Company's (AIC) scheme covers about 28,000 hectares in Hurunui and Waiau and mainly irrigates pasture.

The regional council is letting the scheme have excessive nitrate levels because Amuri is transitioning into a more efficient irrigation system.

But health officials and environmental advocates argue that's not good enough.

All they have to do is monitor people's wells, and warn them if they turn out to be poisoning them. And that's simply not good enough. The economic interests of farmers should not trump the health and safety of their neighbours and the general public. As for ECan, which allowed this consent, its another example of how National's dictatorship and subsequent rural gerrymander has endangered people's lives as well as the environment - and why they need to be voted out on their arses in October.