Independent review confirms Noosa Health Investigation conclusions

    10 June 2011

    The plant science peak industry organisation, CropLife Australia, today noted the review by independent toxicologists commissioned by the Queensland Government, which confirmed the Noosa Fish Health Investigation Taskforce’s finding that it is not possible to identify a chemical cause for the events that occurred at the hatchery. These findings will hopefully bring a greater degree of reason and fact based discussion to the issue.

    The Taskforce concluded that, “the evidence collected does not establish with any degree of certainty that chemicals from the macadamia farm were the single or primary causal agent for the reported events at the hatchery”. Additionally, it stated that “other factors like fish diseases and parasites, water quality, past environmental contaminants and hatchery management practices couldn’t be ruled out as the primary cause”.

    CropLife Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Cossey said, “the Taskforce report has been prepared by an independent, experienced and qualified group of scientists, veterinarians, public health officials and ecotoxicologists. It is disappointing that some in the community are seeking to undermine its conclusions just because they disagree with the findings. I’d call on those doing so to cease”.

    “These sorts of investigations are often detailed and difficult. It remains important to separate alarmist rhetoric and opinion from science based evidence. It is neither appropriate nor helpful to disparage the highly trained, qualified and experienced scientists, officers and ecotoxicologists participating in the Taskforce”, Mr Cossey said.

    “In attacking the Taskforce’s participants, people like Dr Landos are only undermining their own credibility” said Mr Cossey.

    Independent toxicological review of Dr Landos’ contribution to the issue has been critical, highlighting that:

    • “the text of Dr Landos’ report is characterised by admissions of data gaps and an inability to reach any definitive conclusions regarding causation”; and
    • “Dr Landos indicates the residue testing at the hatchery is evidence of movement of pesticides from the macadamia farm onto the hatchery. However, this is a gross oversimplification of the data”.

    Mr Cossey said, “when making decisions about the possible impact of crop protection products on the environment and human health, we need to ensure that reliable and repeatable science is the basis for all decision making. It is critical that personal opinion does not get in the way of responsible decisions”.

    As the peak body for agricultural chemicals, CropLife along with our member companies remain dedicated to the ongoing responsible stewardship of products, to protect the environment, users and consumers.

    Independent review confirms Noosa Health Investigation conclusions.pdf