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Truth About ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ Advertising Campaign

The Truth About ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ Advertising Campaign: A Report on New Zealand’s Toxic Environment

Abstract

The ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ is a government-sponsored tourism promotion campaign targeting tourists from wealthy countries as ‘cash cows.’

About 2.5million foreign tourists including visitors from Europe, North America, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and S. Korea, who visit New Zealand each year, risk exposure to serious health hazards without any warning. New Zealand government, motivated by economic factors alone, has refused to warn visitors against the dangers of exposure to

1. Excessive UV Radiation
2. Lethal Chemicals
3. Toxic Algae Poisoning

MSRB wrote to NZ Prime Minister anticipating mandatory health warnings on tourism advertising and compensation for the victims of NZ tourism. The letter was published by an independent news agency in NZ, but was subsequently censored by the mainstream media.

Also censored are all other reports and disclosures concerning the risks of exposure by humans and other animals to New Zealand’s toxic environment.

The authorities are acting dishonestly preying on unsuspecting foreign tourists, who are lured to the country under a false advertising campaign, while refusing to warn the visitors about the risks of exposure to the serious health hazards that await them in New Zealand.

Welcome to New Zealand: The 100% Toxic Destination

The ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ advertising campaign, sponsored by NZ Government, is an intensive global campaign designed by M&C Saatchi to inveigle unsuspecting tourists to New Zealand by falsely portraying that country as ‘pure,’ ‘unspoiled’ and ‘clean.’ The campaign conveniently fails to mention the serious health hazards that New Zealand’s toxic environment poses to the wellbeing of the visitors. The NZ government has placed the huge financial benefits, which it reaps from the large number of visitors arriving in the country, above the wellbeing of the visitors. Despite calls to issue health warnings to visitors, the government has refused to take any action.

In 2005, 2,382,950 foreigners including about 1.56million people from Northern Hemisphere [513,257 visitors from Europe (including 306,815 from UK), 256,689 North Americans, and 482,052 visitors from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and S. Korea] visited New Zealand. [1][2] The unwary visitors risked exposure to a litany of serious health hazards.

1. Exposure to Excessive UV Radiation

Without Ozone life on Earth is not possible. Ozone depletion allows higher levels of UV radiation (UVA and UVB) reaching the Earth’s surface and poses the biggest threat to life and the ecosystems. The amount of UV radiation reaching the Antarctica can double during the annual “ozone hole”- a severe depletion of ozone layer.

At usual times, when the ozone hole disappears, New Zealand still receives at least 42 percent more ultraviolet rays than Northern Hemisphere.

NASA and NOAA Declare 2006 Ozone Hole a Double Record Breaker

“The ozone hole of 2006 is the most severe ozone hole (least amount of ozone) observed to date. NASA’s Aura satellite observed a low value of 85 Dobson Units (DU) on Oct. 8 in a region over the East Antarctic ice sheet.”[3]

With a few exceptions, the depth and size of the Antarctic Ozone Hole is increasing each year, while the concentration of ozone, measured in Dobson Unit (DU), is decreasing. The large and persistent ozone hole will “allow much more ultraviolet light than usual to reach Earth’s surface in the southern latitudes.”[3]

Major Health Problems Linked to Overexposure to UV Radiation

Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to the potentially fatal melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, as well as skin disorders like actinic keratoses and premature aging of skin. UV radiation impairs human immune system (including reaction to certain medications, poor response to immunization, and sensitivity to sunlight) and readily damages DNA in all cells causing genetic mutations. [4]

UV radiation increases the incidents of cataracts, chronic eye disease and other eye damage, and several types of blood disease.

The Skin Cancer ‘Hot Spot.’ New Zealand (and Australia) is the worst hotspot for skin cancer in the world. Each year 1 in 29 New Zealanders is diagnosed with skin cancer.[5]

Melanoma Skin Cancers. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. Many dermatologists believe that exposure to sunburns in children and young adults can lead to melanoma later in life. Reported melanoma cases in New Zealand have almost doubled since 1993 and the rising trend is expected to continue. New Zealand [and Australia] has the highest age-adjusted melanoma incidence rates in the world.[6]

New research commissioned by MoleMap New Zealand, a melanoma surveillance program, reveals about one in four New Zealand farmers have suffered skin cancer.[7]

“Almost 300 people die from melanoma each year and New Zealand has the highest melanoma death rate in the world.” Generally, skin cancer incidents occur in older age groups, however, “life-threatening melanoma is most common in people aged between 20 and 39 years.”[8]

In the United States, an estimated 7,910 people will die of melanoma in 2006. [9] The melanoma death rate in New Zealand is about three times higher than the United States.

Non-melanoma Skin Cancers. Non-melanoma skin cancers are less deadly than melanoma cases. However, they can spread, causing disfigurement and more serious health problems, if not treated early. At least 160,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in New Zealand each year. [10]

Other types of UV-related skin cancer tumors include Basal Cell Carcinomas, and Squamous Cell Carcinomas. Although Basal cell carcinoma grows slowly, it can penetrate to the bone and cause considerable damage. Squamous Cell Carcinomas tumors, which usually appear as nodules or as red, flaky swelling, develop into large patches and spread all over the body. [11]

Cataracts and Other Eye Damage. Cataracts, a type of eye damage, causes the loss of transparency in the lens of the eye, clouds vision and can lead to blindness, if left untreated. The UV radiation increases the likelihood of developing cataracts. UV radiation also causes other kinds of eye damage including “pterygium (i.e., tissue growth that can block vision), skin cancer around the eyes, and degeneration of the macula (i.e., the part of the retina where visual perception is most acute).” [12]

Immune Suppression. Overexposure to UV radiation may suppress the body’s immune system. “Increased exposure to UV rays in animals and humans has been linked to elevated risk from the following diseases: the herpes viruses, the human immunodeficiency virus HIV- 1, a variety of papilloma viruses, leishmaniasis, malaria, forms of tuberculosis, leprosy, lupus erthematodes, dermatitis, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Since UV rays readily damage DNA in all cells, it is not unrealistic to hypothesize that this will play an additional role in the mutation of existing disease bacteria and viruses and may produce totally new strains of pathogens.” [13]

2. Exposure to Toxic Poisoning in New Zealand Lakes and Waterways

An estimated 60 percent [probably as much as 80 percent, or more] of New Zealand’s lakes are believed to be degraded. [14]

New Zealand is the size of Colorado yet it hosts up to 94 million farm animals (livestock excluding poultry), which discharge an estimated 300 million tons of effluent to the environment each year. New Zealand’s intensive animal industries produce about 4 times more manure than they could safely use as fertilizer. [New Zealand cattle and sheep also produce methane emissions equivalent to 33 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.]

New Zealand farmers used a total of 820,000 tons of fertilizers to their croplands in 1999 (204 kg/ha of cropland each year, about twice as much as the U.S. and 220 percent of the world average). New Zealand also uses about twice as much pesticides per hectare of cropland (2,215 kg/ha, 1996 data – more recent data not available.) than the U.S. [15]

Blue-green algae. Blue-green algae are cyanobacteria which reproduce rapidly in fresh water in temperate areas. Favorable conditions including sunlight and nutrient-rich water help the blue-green algae to form ‘blooms’ form blue-green scum. In New Zealand human activities and byproducts including intensive farming, inordinate use of fertilizers and sewage from septic tanks are increasing the flow of nutrients into waterways and lakes, making the cyanobacteria problem particularly severe.

Toxins from certain species of cyanobacteria “are poisonous to cattle, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks (domestic and wild), pigeons, geese, herons, songbirds, dogs, rabbits, small wild and domestic animals, and even frogs, fish and snakes. Cyanobacterial toxins are primarily neurotoxic (affect the nervous system) and hepatotoxic (affect the liver). Clinical signs in cyanobacterial poisoning include nervous derangement, staggering, tremors and severe abdominal pain.” [16]

“Intoxication with cyanobacteria is characterized by convulsions, ataxia (in- coordination), bloody diarrhea and sudden death. Affected animals rarely range far from the water source.” [16]

The toxins are also poisonous to humans and can cause liver damage, asthma attacks, gastroenteritis, skin rashes, eye irritations and allergic responses.

The toxins are absorbed from the water that contains high concentrations of cyanobacteria or cyanobacterial toxins via ingestion (drinking or swimming in contaminated water) or via inhalation (breathing air that contains airborne toxins.) [17]

“Microcystins can accumulate in the tissues of fish, particularly in the viscera (liver, kidney, etc.), and in shellfish. Levels in the tissues depend upon the severity of the bloom in the area where the fish or shellfish are caught or collected. In general, caution should be taken when considering the consumption of fish caught in areas of a water body where major blue-green algal blooms occur; in particular, the viscera of the fish should not be eaten.” [18]

Cyanobacterial toxins pose serious health threats to the tourists who visit New Zealand for water sports including swimming, surfing, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, jet boating, caving, rafting, scuba diving/snorkeling, water skiing, parasailing and other water related activities including fishing, scenic boat cruises and gondola rides.

According to the Statistics New Zealand, about 1.56million visitors from Northern Hemisphere stayed more than 34million days in New Zealand. More than 65% of those visitors visited New Zealand for holiday purposes (Year ending March 2006). [19][20]

3. Exposure to Toxic Chemicals [Dioxin- and PCP-based Pesticides, Fungicides, Herbicides and Defoliants, Wood Preservatives and Binding Agents]

Outbreaks of cancer and other serious disease like multiple sclerosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hepatitis C., Downs Syndrome and Spina Bifida have appeared in clusters around New Zealand. An investigative report on the outbreak of the rare disease was previously published by Investigate Magazine, [21] however, the report was ignored by NZ Government and censored by the mainstream media.

Simon Jones reported: “[B]y 1970 the number of birth defects in New Plymouth doubled and the number of cases nationwide started to rise.”[21][22]

The following are a few excerpts from the report:

“Walk down any street in New Plymouth and you will probably hear a mixture of coughing and spluttering. Look inside any school and there appears to be more special needs children than is the norm for a city the size of New Plymouth. It’s often been said that everyone knows someone with a serious disease, whether it be cancer or multiple sclerosis.

“Bad luck? Possibly, but for the last 15 years a group of residents have turned scientists to uncover what they say is a national health scandal – and one which, despite the government and media’s persistent attempts to ignore, won’t go away.

“They may sound like conspiracy theorists in overdrive – and there is little in the way of official evidence and health statistics to back up what they say. But here is the frightening thing: If, in this real-life game of Fact or Fiction?, only 10 percent of what the residents say is true, we have a huge health scandal on our hands – the magnitude and implications of which are unimaginable.”[22]

“Because of international health concerns 2,4,5-T production was halted around the world – with the exception of one factory, the Ivon Watkins Dow Plant in New Plymouth which persevered until 1987. The plant is still in operation today but only produces pesticides.” [22]

“In 1986 the Ministry of Environment held an official inquiry into dioxin contamination after 300kg of vapor accidentally leaked from the plant. Yet, interestingly, company bosses admitted that over 250kg of vapor was normally discharged as a result of the normal process anyway.”[22]

Dioxins. Exposure to this class of highly toxic chemicals can lead to prostate cancer, sugar diabetes, strokes, birth defects (babies born with no brain, deformity in ears and faces, blisters that look like major burns), Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Downs Syndrome, and learning difficulties. Other health effects arising from exposure to dioxins include cervical cancer, melanoma, multiple sclerosis, Hepatitis C., lymphosarcoma, respiratory cancers including cancer of the lung, Spina Bifida, immunodeficiency, tumors, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) and infertility.[23][24][25]

“Dioxin is a man made by-product of the manufacturing process for making Phenoxy herbicides like Agent Orange. Actually, when 2, 4, 5-T is manufactured a ‘synthetic contaminant’ TCDD (2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin) is an unwanted by-product that cannot be removed.”[30]

New Zealand manufactured substantial quantities of the deadly defoliant Agent Orange (in the form of 2,4-D and 2,4,5,T), a weapon of mass destruction containing the lethal chemical dioxin, which was used against the Vietnamese with devastating effects. The U.S. government has classified dioxins as a ‘human carcinogen.’ [22]

Agent Orange was manufactured in New Zealand from about 1962 until 1987. Dioxin has a 30-year envelop and its effects would continue to poison the people and environment until at least 2017. [22]

A former top official for the manufacturers confirmed that the ‘leftover’ toxic chemicals were buried in secret toxic waste dumps around the country: “We bulldozed big pits and dumped thousands of tonnes of chemicals there.” [22]

In 2005, New Zealand government admitted that it supplied Agent Orange chemicals to the United States military during the Vietnam conflict. [31]

U.S. veterans received $180 million in damages from Dow Chemical and Monsanto, the two manufacturers of Agent Orange, in 1984. Australian, Canadian and New Zealand veterans also reached an out-of-court settlement the same year. However, Vietnamese victims have not received any compensation. [27]

Pentachlorophenol. A synthetic fungicide, pentachlorophenol (PCP) is an organochlorine, which is highly toxic to humans. Exposure to minute quantities of PCP affects the endocrine system of vertebrate animals including mammals and can lead to immune system dysfunction. It disrupts normal cognitive, physical, sexual, and emotional development and is linked to fetal abnormalities and trans-generational cancer. PCP is also a wood preservative.[32][33][34][35]

The State of the Land Environment in New Zealand

In a report titled ‘The State of Our Land Environment,’ [36] the NZ Ministry for the Environment makes disturbing revelations about the state of New Zealand’s environment. The following is a summary of highlights in Chapter 8, including excerpts.

- Tens of thousands of sites including New Zealand’s agricultural and horticultural sites, forests and parks, sports fields and market gardens, sawmills and timber treatment sites, industrial and urban zones are contaminated with cocktails of persistent toxic substances that are likely to pose an immediate or long-term hazard to human health and the environment. The actual extent of land contamination is not known.

- Human (and animal) exposure to soil contaminants occurs through direct contact, ingesting food or water from the contaminated environments and inhaling contaminated dust.

- Soil contaminants in New Zealand include heavy metals (e.g. cadmium, arsenic, zinc, lead, copper, chromium, mercury and so on.), organochlorines (e.g. DDT, DDE, PCP, PCBs, dieldrin, aldrin, chlordane, lindane, dioxins and so on.), solvents (e.g. industrial cleaning agents), corrosives (e.g. acids and alkalis), hydrocarbons (e.g. oil derivatives such as petrol, diesel, tar and creosote), asbestos, and cyanides.

- Contamination is not site specific. Contaminants seep through the soil into groundwater and are carried to adjacent land and waterways in rainwater or on dust particles.

- Soil contaminants, particularly heavy metals and organochlorines, accumulate in animal tissue, with increasing concentrations as they progress up the food chain.

- Major sources of soil, water and air contamination in New Zealand are chemical manufacturing and use; pesticides, herbicides, fungicide manufacturing and use; timber treatment; paint; coal and mining sites; the transport sector; intensive farming and agricultural activities (soil contamination occurs from excessive animal effluent, pesticides, fertilizer residues, storage areas and dump sites)… and other industrial activities not listed.

- “The actual extent of land contamination is not yet known, but the number of potentially contaminated industrial sites and landfills is estimated from business and telephone directories and other ‘desktop’ records to be around 7,800… No formal assessment has been made of potentially contaminated agricultural and horticultural sites, but the total number could be 4,000 or more”. [36] (emphasis added)

- An estimated 1,580 of the potentially contaminated urban and industrial sites pose a high risk to human health or the environment.

- Sawmills and timber treatment sites. Chemical treatment is used to treat Radiata pine, the dominant timber [90 percent of all timber] in the country. “The main chemical preparations are antisapstain fungicides [including] boron (an insecticide), LOSP (an insecticide …) and CCA (a heavy metal formulation of copper, chromium and arsenic which acts as a dual insecticide and fungicide).” [36]

- Since the late 1940s organochlorine pesticides were used extensively in the sawmills including pentachlorophenol (PCP) to combat sapstain fungi, a mixture of PCP with diesel oil used as a preservative, and chlordane used in the manufacture of wood products (e.g., plywood) and in the paper industry.

[Note: Forestry and wood processing is the third largest export industry in New Zealand. It is worth $4.57 billion in outputs (year ended March 2005, and contributes 4% of GDP. [37] New Zealand has 1.8 million hectares of forest plantations, where Forestry represents 7% of total land use. Over the next 10 years, the production of Radiata pine (90 percent of the planted forest area) would increase substantially. [38] The increased production of Radiata pine would require significant increases in the manufacture and application of chemicals used for treating and preserving the timber.]

- Soil contamination has occurred at many of the New Zealand’s 600 sawmill and timber treatment sites.

[MSRB notes excessive downplaying of the statistics and overuse of euphemistic language in the government report.]

- A National Task Group found significant contamination in the timber-processing complex at Waipa, near Rotorua, “where PCP had been used over four decades. The groundwater discharging into the local stream contained high levels of PCP and the contaminants were found at elevated levels in the sediments and biota of Lake Rotorua”. [36]

- PCP was also used in “the cultivation of mushrooms and the control of slimes in cooling waters”. [36]

- Soils and groundwater contamination with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenols and heavy metals have occurred in more than 50 of New Zealand’s redundant town supply gas-works sites. In Napier, cyanide was found on neighboring properties.

- Mining sites. The soil and water surrounding most of an estimated 92 mine sites are contaminated with heavy metals.

- Pesticide manufacture. New Zealand has “about a dozen” pesticide manufacturing sites. No information is publicly available about the scale and extent of land contamination associated with these sites with the exception of “a disused site in the small coastal town of Mapua , on the Waimea inlet near Nelson. Various pesticides and agricultural chemicals were manufactured and formulated there from 1945 to 1988 by the Fruitgrowers Chemical Company.” [36]

- “Extensive soil sampling revealed widespread contamination by DDT (and breakdown products such as DDE) and more localized contamination by dieldrin”. [36] In the adjacent Tasman District, samples taken from wells show significant contamination by pesticides, sulphur, and chlorobenzene. Stormwater was contaminated by organochlorines, organophosphorus pesticides, cadmium, copper, lead, selenium, and zinc.

- “The stormwater run-off from the Mapua site is considered to be the major cause of the organochlorine contamination in the nearby tidal waters. Organochlorine-contaminated sediment fans out onto the sea-bed and shoreline on both sides of the Mapua site”. [36]

- “The concentrations of the organochlorines and heavy metals in the soils, groundwater, shoreline and seabed sediment, and the tidal water generally exceed acceptable limits. DDT levels in shellfish are many times higher than the acceptable limit, and birds such as bitterns and banded rails, which were once a common sight pecking at the shellfish on the mud flats, have disappeared.”[36] (emphasis added)

- Dieldrin dump sites. Dieldrin is an organochlorine which was used in sheep sprays and dips, mixed with aldrin, DDT, BHC and methoxychlor. “In 1961 its use as a pesticide was banned in sheep sprays and dips—along with aldrin, DDT, BHC and methoxychlor. In 1966 its use to control pasture pests such as black beetle and grass grub was also banned. Surplus stocks of the banned pesticides, estimated at 530 tons, were collected from farms around the country by the Department of Agriculture and stored in a number of depots…By February 1964, approximately 165 tons had been redistributed”. [36]

- “Some, but not all, of the surplus pesticides were exported from New Zealand in late 1966. What happened to the remainder is still largely a mystery because, although some storage and dump sites have been located, the files and records for most of them seem to have been lost.” [36] (emphasis added)

- “Contaminated soil and dust have been found at some former storage centres, including four Canterbury sites where the original buildings are still standing … A fifth Canterbury site is now covered by a shopping mall. Buried and rusting pesticide containers and evidence of some soil and groundwater contamination have been found at two dump sites in the Southland region”. [36]

- Agricultural land: “Contamination of rural soils can arise from pesticide and fertiliser residues in fields and orchards, and from chemical spillage and leaching at ‘hot spots’ such as pesticide and fuel storage areas, animal dip and dosing sites, and on-farm landfills.” [36] Farms in Canterbury and Southland have elevated levels of DDT and DDE. Farms throughout New Zealand have high cadmium concentrations.

“[T]he number of potentially contaminated rural sites has not been formally assessed, there may be as many as 1,000 storage and dump sites containing unwanted pesticides and herbicides and a further 1,000 private and farm landfills (Ministry for the Environment, 1992b). New Zealand may also have several thousand contaminated sheep and cattle dip sites if the Australian example is any guide. A large number of Australian dip sites that were used before 1965 have high DDT and arsenic concentrations.” [36] (emphasis added)

- Organochlorine contamination: Some of the 60,000 or so synthetic organochlorines that have been formulated since about 1940 are highly persistent or long-lived (e.g. DDT, DDE, PCBs, PCP, HCBs, dioxins, chlordane, lindane, aldrin, dieldrin).

- High concentrations of organochlorines cause reproductive abnormalities and immune deficiencies in some species and can kill fish, birds or mammals.

- “DDT was mixed with fertiliser and applied to pasture in a bid to control grass grubs and porina caterpillars. It was also used on lawns and market gardens, parks and sports fields. Its use …was finally banned in 1989. DDT has a half-life of 10 years in dry soils, but its main residue, DDE, is far more persistent, showing little change in soil levels over 20 years.” [36] (emphasis added)

- The persistent organochlorines were widely used in New Zealand agriculture for more than forty years “as: insecticides (e.g. DDT, aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin, lindane), fungicides (e.g. PCP) and electrical transformers and capacitators (i.e. PCBs).” [36] Organochlorines including the dioxins (PCDDs) and furans (PCDFs), created as waste byproducts in the manufacture of other organochlorines, were simply released to the environment.

- “PCP and dioxin residues have been found at some New Zealand sawmill sites, and dieldrin residues have been found at former storage and dump sites.” [36]

- Soils in many farm and non-farm sites in New Zealand have elevated organochlorine pesticide residues.

- “DDT residues are widespread in regions where grass grub and porina are significant pasture pests… In parts of Canterbury and Southland, paddocks on some farms are still unsuitable for livestock or dairy production because of the DDT residue levels.” [36]

- “These residues … find their way into meat and dairy products when grazing animals eat soil with their grass. The amount of ingested soil increases in dry periods when grass is shorter and sparser. Residue sampling of Canterbury lambs in drought years during the 1980s found that nearly 40 percent had DDT residues above the European Union’s [and the U.S.] permitted limit”. [36]

- “The new forms of pesticides made since the mid-1980s are designed to break down quickly, but very little is known about their residue levels in New Zealand soils and their effects on soil organisms. The newer pesticides are also more water-soluble than their fat-soluble predecessors, and thus more likely to move out of the soil into groundwater or surface water courses”. [36]

- Heavy metals: “A survey of heavy metal contamination in pastoral soils was conducted in the early 1990s … A total of 312 farm sites were sampled in both the North and South Islands. Samples were also collected from 86 natural sites…cadmium, was present at elevated levels”. [36]

- “In New Zealand, the cadmium concentration in pasture soils is associated with the use of superphosphate fertiliser… As a consequence, all of New Zealand’s agricultural land has received cadmium in direct proportion to the amount of fertiliser applied.”[36] (emphasis added)

[Note: New Zealand used at least 204 kg/ha of cropland, about twice as much as the U.S. and 220 percent of the world average in 1999 – recent data have not been disclosed].

- “At high concentrations, cadmium is a particularly toxic heavy metal, accumulating in the body’s tissues and organs, particularly the liver and kidney.” [36] (emphasis added)

- Copper and arsenic compounds, used to control fungi in orchards and vineyards, are another source of heavy metal contamination in rural soils. New Zealand government have not systematically surveyed the orchards, “but a study in Central Otago found that average concentrations in old orchard soils were above the draft New Zealand guideline”. [36]

‘New Zealand is Sitting on a Time Bomb’

Sue Kedgley, NZ Green Party Health Spokesperson states: “In July 1993, the New Scientist magazine published an article describing New Zealand as a ‘poisoned paradise’, and identified contamination as an urgent problem. In the article, Pete Hodgson – Labour’s then-Environment spokesperson – pointed out that New Zealand had thousands of contaminated sites. ‘New Zealand[39] Unfortunately, New Zealand’s Green Party have failed to take any corrective action to either stop the ‘100% Pure’ false advertising campaign or, at least, warn the foreign visitors about the ‘New Zealand time bomb.’

Pollution Created by Air Travel to New Zealand

Air Distance to New Zealand. The round trip air distance from major destinations in Northern Hemisphere to New Zealand varies from about 12,000 miles (Singapore-NZ-Singapore) to about 28,600 miles (UK-NZ-UK).

[Note: On indirect flights the air distance can increase by as much as 30% depending on the location and number of stopovers.]

Greenhouse Gasses (CO2e). Each air passenger produces about 1.36 lbs. of CO2 and other Greenhouse Gases (called CO2 Equivalents or CO2e) for every air mile [40] flown. A passenger on a return flight from Singapore to New Zealand produces 16,320 pounds [7.4 metric tons] of CO2e. On a return flight from U.K. to New Zealand, each passenger produces about 38,896 pounds [17.64 metric tons] of CO2e.

In the year ending March 2006, about 1.56million visitors from Northern Hemisphere produced a total of about 17million tons of CO2e on their return flights to New Zealand. [19][20]

Profit Above All Else

MSRB wrote an open letter to NZ Prime Minister, Helen Clark, in December 2005 anticipating that NZ Parliament would enact legislation to (i) mandate health warnings concerning the hazards of exposure to the excessive UV radiation on all advertising for NZ tourism, and (ii) allocate a fund for compensating the victims of NZ tourism. The letter was published by Scoop, an independent news agency in NZ, but was subsequently censored by the mainstream media. [41]

Any potential measure to warn the foreign visitors about the risks of exposure to New Zealand’s toxic environment and excessive UV radiation would be in direct conflict with the government’s monetary targets. Meanwhile, the ‘100% Pure NZ’ campaign reappeared in full strength in 2006 exposing another 2.5 million unsuspecting foreign visitors to New Zealand’s environmental health hazards, ‘The New Zealand Syndrome,’ despite calls to the government to introduce safety warning. is sitting on a time bomb,’ he said.”

Conclusion

New Zealand is probably one of the most toxic destinations for tourism in the world. The unsuspecting foreign visitors risk a litany of health hazards including exposure to excessive UV radiation, unknown volumes of lethal substances that have extensively contaminated the environment and toxic algae poisoning.

During the Antarctic ozone depletion season, the amount of UV radiation reaching New Zealand is at least double the ‘normal’ times. New Zealand normally receives at least 42 percent more UV radiation than the Northern Hemisphere.

The overexposure to UV radiation can lead to the potentially fatal melanoma and other skin cancers, as well as skin disorders, premature aging of skin, damage to human immune system and genetic mutations in cells. New Zealand death rate due to the melanoma cancer is about three times higher than the United States .

The toxic algae poisoning poses a serious threat to the visitors who visit New Zealand for water sports and lake activities such as swimming, boating and fishing.

The toxic contamination of the environment is particularly severe in New Zealand due to the country’s intensive farming and agriculture practices and chemical manufacturing and uses. New Zealand uses twice as much fertilizers and pesticides per hectare of cropland than the United States and the other so-called first world countries. Large quantities of lethal chemicals manufactured in New Zealand are buried in unidentified toxic waste dumps throughout the country. New Zealand has more farm animals per capita than any other country in the world.

While no other country claims to be ‘pure,’ or ‘clean,’ New Zealand is promoting its toxic environment as “100% Pure” in a government sponsored false advertising campaign.

New Zealand government callously values profits above human life. They prey reprehensively on unsuspecting tourists, students and new immigrants, who are lured to New Zealand by false advertising, while refusing to warn them about the serious risks of exposure to the toxic environment and overexposure to UV radiation.

Unless the falsity of ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ advertising campaign is exposed, the foreign visitors who fall victim to New Zealand Poisoning would probably never discover the source of their disease.

About 1.56million visitors from Northern Hemisphere produced a total of 17million tons of CO2e on their return flights to New Zealand last year, which significantly contributed to further deterioration of our failing ecosystems.

Edible exports comprise 64% of all New Zealand exports. How many of us consuming contaminated food products imported from New Zealand are in danger of cumulative toxic poisoning?

References

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Last Updated 20 August 2007

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