As the anti-poison and environmental health movement matures and grows we find ourselves asking different questions, the focus on public awareness and challenging industry bad practice must continue however we need to keep applying wisdom if our path to a healthy future is to come to fruition. We need to learn from those who have gone before us and expand upon the foundations they have built as well as learning from mistakes made, if we do not we will never understand the playing field this arm wrestle is taking place on and will therefore be unable to implement a successful strategy to overcome a multi trillion dollar industry and a century of bad chemical practice.

One of the difficulties when challenging social, health or environmental issues, is if coming from a perspective outside of mainstream belief, it can be hard to resist getting overly defensive in your position. This can lead to a situation where rather than pushing forward in pro-active campaigns we actually fall in line with Government and industry narrative and fight on a battle field of our opponents choosing.

We must remember that if our Government felt human 1080 research would help their cause it would be commissioned, the absence of any objective study in this area is proof that the expected findings would be more damaging than helpful to the Governments mass chemical warfare programme, we know the WHO states research into vulnerable populations is a requirement of Government if they wish to use highly toxics around human populations, our Governments answer to this is humans are not getting exposed so no research is required, this tactic of denial of harm continues despite 140 positive human samples being found by their own testing authority Landcare NZ.

Some of the people challenging chemical practice, pesticide and 1080 use, including myself have taken up the challenge to understand pesticide science, toxicology and occupational science so as to employ this as a tool to bring balanced evidence to use against the industry funded and therefor self-interested research, only to find that after illustrating harm, we are told no change can happen unless you can present a solution or alternative to the problem you have highlighted.

So this leaves those advocating for responsible change a challenge of solving 100 years of bad chemical practice, only a fool would even attempt this as it would only result in the next impossible mission, being reactive to every challenge is a bad strategy and unlikely to win any war, two major forces meeting on a battlefield head to head is an outdated strategy which was replaced by small tactical strikes on multiple targets some time ago.

This is the strength of the 1080 movement which has been growing in many ways over recent times, we have become a series of independent groups and individuals working on many different strategies to overcome an overwhelming problem, this makes us difficult to anticipate, pay off or control.

If for example we formed into one organisation it would be highly likely that industry or Government would initiate legal proceedings against the collective and use their greater financial resources to bankrupt the movement.

If anyone feels that you must have a good legal case to bankrupt your opponent, they do not understand our legal system, those with superior financial resources can tie an organisation up in litigation until they can no longer afford to defend themselves, our system is designed to protect the rich and powerful.

So how do we learn from the past, looking into the history of some of the banned chemicals we see a pattern of behaviour, firstly denial of harm, secondly public mockery and misinformation campaigns personalised against the focus group or individual, thirdly we have no other alternatives so we need more time to implement change let’s all look for solutions together (delay), and the final stage pump up production before the inevitable ban takes place.

When looking at the dioxin producing chemicals called PCB’s which were banned in the mid 1990’s we see mass manufacturing of the compound leading up to the ban, the production was so large that at the time of the ban 40% of all PCB’s ever made were held in stockpile, now some 25 years later the supply is still going strong and PCB’s are still in many industrial products including paints… so a ban was fought for and won, however this has produced very little change at all.

We see similar with 245T, DDT and Paraquat, Farmers and industry stockpiled commercial quantities of these pesticides and continued to pollute the environment and poison their employees for year’s sometimes even decades after the ban was put in place by the Stockholm convention which found these chemical compounds to be Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP’s).

One of the more recent worldwide bans was endosulfan an pesticide causing great harm and documented to cause severe birth defects in the next generation, this compound was the first to be banned where all product was deemed illegal to manufacture and sell, great problem solved you say…

Unfortunately now we see endosulfan plaguing developing countries, being sold illegally and sometimes even being rebottled and sold under different labels, sadly business wants profits and morals or laws are often ignored, industry knows they have little to fear from world Governments which is why we see companies like Monsanto recently being found guilty of using banned chemicals yet facing very little consequence at all.

Why does this happen? It seems that industry makes great profit while harming the health of the people and the environment, then the tax payer funded Health system picks up the bill. We are now finding allies from the health insurance industry who have worked out their buddies from the chemical manufacturing industry are sucking their profits dry, industry vs industry finally a more level playing field is building, now we the taxpayers need to continue putting pressure on our Governments to start looking for ways to force industry to pick up the bill for all the cancers, neurodegenerative disorders and generalised health problems caused or exasperated by continual chemical exposure.

We need to stay focussed, we need to remain impassive to provocation and not reactive to Government and industry challenges, we the people hold the power in society and we will start learning to employ this for the betterment of all, we know current chemical practice is unsustainable, harmful and immoral, yet this alone will not force change, but change is coming the choice seems to be lose the fight and lose the planet, or grow up as a society and tackle the issues head on, start supporting good business and start boycotting unethical practice.

The only language multinational corporations understand is profit and market share, as they start to lose market share to new socially responsible business, watch them change!!!

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