Endosulfan, carbendazim fingered for fish mutations

14 Jan, 2009 09:30 AM
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12
 
Fish larvae with two heads.
Fish larvae with two heads.

A pesticide banned in more than 50 countries but still used widely in Australia has been implicated in the chronic deformities and deaths of thousands of fish in the Noosa River in recent months.

The two-headed bass, which survived for only 48 hours after hatching, are the victims of spray drift from neighbouring macadamia nut plantations, an aquatic health expert, Matt Landos, has warned the Queensland Government.

The pesticide endosulfan and the fungicide carbendazim are identified in Dr Landos's report, which was sent to the state's Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries on October 31.

Both chemicals have been linked to birth and reproductive defects, liver toxicity and cancer.

Dr Landos, who operates the commercially run Future Fisheries Veterinary Services and is the vice-president of the Australian College of Veterinarian Scientists' Aquatic Animal Health Chapter, said there were no other probable causes to explain the fish and larval mortality at the hatchery.

"The timing between the mist spraying and the affected larvae fits hand in glove," he said.

Dr Landos's report also found that chickens, sheep and horses raised at the Sunland Fish Hatchery at Boreen Point were recording abnormally high levels of foetal deaths and birth defects.

The chemical giant DuPont voluntarily withdrew the fungicide carbendazim, along with its parent compound benomyl, from the US market in 2001, but they continue to be used legally in Australia.

New Zealand will become the 56th country to enact a ban on endosulfan on Friday.

In October the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, to which Australia is a signatory, will consider elevating the pesticide to the final stage of assessment, which if passed would trigger a worldwide ban.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, which last week told the Sydney Morning Herald it had no plans to review its 2005 guidelines on the legal horticultural uses of endosulfan, said yesterday it was concerned by Dr Landos's allegations and was seeking advice from the federal Department of Environment.

The registration status of carbendazim was already being reviewed, the authority's spokesman, Dr Simon Cubit, said, due to its links with developmental abnormalities in animals.

The Queensland Government yesterday promised further testing at the Noosa hatchery.

The acting Premier, Paul Lucas, urged people not to jump to conclusions.

SMH
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READER COMMENTS

Peter
15/01/2009 5:58:50 AM

"The acting Premier, Paul Lucas, urged people not to jump to conclusions." Does it include journos, pressure group and your general busy body as well??
Mick
15/01/2009 7:38:15 AM

Professional spin doctors should be impressed by this wonderful display of how to hose down an issue til the heat dissipates with time. One authority says carbendazim was already being reviewed, another says further testing will be undertaken and the acting Premier urges people not to jump to conclusions. All this designed to make people feel everything is under control while they organise a meeting or ten during which a key theme will be to ensure no future action leaves anyone exposed to lawsuits because of past inaction. Expect something of the nature "whilst there is no proof of a link between birth defects and use of this chemical, it has been withdrawn in the interests of maintaining public confidence in the high standards that underpin the Australian agricultural industry". Save on the costs of the meetings guys.
Dave
15/01/2009 7:59:47 AM

Are we going to blame fert for ALL the human two headed babies and disfigurement as well??? Regards
Janus
15/01/2009 9:20:38 AM

We obviously remain a dumping ground for anything other countries have banned. We can't have chemical companies shareholders having their dividends affected, can we? Once we ban it, they will send it all off to India or Africa. Don't these companies have any social conscience? Stupid question, obviously.
Frank
15/01/2009 10:57:22 AM

When will agriculturalists, chemical resellers, advisors and health authorities realise that indiscriminate use of these types of chemicals contaminate soils and waterways. The resultant effect on genetic and cellular development in all species is undoubtedly contributing to the epidemic of mutated cells in plants, animals and humans. This also leads to theses cultures being unable to combat the incursion of disease, infections and illness in all species of life. The answer is simple: greater emphasis on the causes and effects of all chemical incursions into the food chain, both individually and collectively. Frank.
jill newlands
29/01/2009 8:31:54 AM

Read Dr James Bellini's book, High Tec Holocaust. "Never before has our daily bread been so impregnated with foreign substances, enough that we could hold a seminar on toxicology." These deadly chemicals are in our water ways, environment, foods, work places and they are there for the soul purpose of testing. How great is the responsibility of men in office and how terrible are the results of their ignorance and unfaithfulness. This story is disgusting, as was thalidomide, DDT...as is flouride and no scientist in the world can tell us when a human gene is ef. But they will continue to get government support because they have privledges to defend. No wonder we are all so ill.
trav
21/03/2010 6:43:27 PM

Well thats, that I am not eating strawberries ever again.. well unless I was sure there is non of that chemical in there. I am going to google every other vegetable I can find where this is used. and tell everybody. Farmers who use this are sick selfish fools... hope non of them have deformed children.
BRIAN BRIERS
21/03/2010 7:29:46 PM

I AM ALMOST AT THE POINT TO BELIEVE THATTHEY ARE POISONING US ALL ON PURPOSE, SINCE READING PLATO AND DIGESTING HIS PHILOSOPHY OF "REASON" EITHER I AM MAD.PLATO WAS MAD, BECAUSE WHAT WE ARE DOING TO THE HUMAN RACE DEFIES ANY NORMAL OR REASONABLE BEHAVIOUR. THE IDIOTS ARE IN CHARGE !
Mike
21/03/2010 8:51:27 PM

After watching a similar article on 60 minutes about this I am disgusted that it still goes on. Follow the growling list of counties that have banned these chemicals. It is in all of our interests!
James
22/03/2010 7:26:46 AM

New Zealand have banned Endosulfan. New Zealand announced a total ban on the insecticide endosulfan, effective January 16, 2009. “That means that all import or use of endosulfan is illegal,” Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand (PAN ANZ) co-ordinator Dr. Meriel Watts announced. In announcing the ban, New Zealand’s Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) explained that it had determined “the level of adverse effect to the environment, human health, the relationship of Maori to the environment, and to New Zealand's international relationships outweighed any positive effects associated with the availability of endosulfan in New Zealand.” Endosulfan, already banned in 55 countries (including the European Union, but not yet the United States), is used on a wide range of fruit and vegetables. Illegal residues have also been found twice in New Zealand beef destined for South Korea, resulting in enormous costs for exporters. Because of the proven dangers of endosulfan exposure, ERMA said it “wanted to stop use of endosulfan as quickly as possible.” Dr. Watts hailed the decisions as “an historic move for New Zealand!”
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David S- everyone knows that with computers,garbage in=garbage out.Q'lder -good points.show me a
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I have been and had a look at this operation. Placing nutrient on the surface of the soil makes
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Time for the big two to show some moralistic leadership and reverse the race to the " bottom"