Tuesday, December 21, 2010

DRAKENSTEIN MUNICIPALITY DOES IT AGAIN!!!

An article   "Allergieë weg' ná bome afgekap is"  appeared  in Die Burger on 21/12/2010


http://www.dieburger.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Allergiee-weg-na-bome-afgekap-is-20101221

Just why is it that our local Municipalities are in such a mess?  Why is it that they do as they please, that they break the law and that they feel they do not need to consult with the ratepayers, those soft targets that actually pay their salaries?  Who put them in their positions of "power" in the first place?   We have all read of the high incidence of corruption to be found at Municipal level and the breakdown of their service levels.


With regards to the article above, we at The TATIB Foundation are of the opinion that the real cause of the high "allergy" levels in Paarl & Stellenbosch is in fact due to the use of the Fungicides and Pesticides used to spray the surrounding vineyards.  In this regard, our cluster of medical practitioners have noted that the number of "allergy" related complaints peaks during the spraying season.  

If one looks at the warnings contained on the Product Labels and Material Safety Data Sheets, of most of the chemicals sprayed on the vineyards, there are clear warnings that exposure to the spray drift of these products will cause eye, nose and upper respiratory tract irritation.  Before my family & I moved to "The Boland" we never suffered from any form of "hayfever" . It was only after we were exposed to spray drift from nearby vineyards that our allergies started to take hold.  When we sold our house and moved back to Cape Town, our allergies vanished.  The doctors that we consulted all told us that it was our exposure to the agricultural chemicals that caused our "allergies" .

Both Drakenstein  & Stellenbosch Municipalities, have been spraying the Oak trees of Paarl & Stellenbosch with a cocktail of fungicides [for dons skimmel / powdery mildew]. The products that they have admitted to using have been Tilt, Bumper & Rubigan.  The Product Labels of these fungicides clearly state that exposure to the spray drift and volatile compounds will cause allergies. 

Drakenstein, in its written warnings, has told all residents to stay indoors during the spraying of the oak trees and to close all doors and windows. The spraying has also been done under cover of darkness, more than likely so as to minimize human exposure and to reduce the number of complaints [if you don’t witness the spraying then you cant complain!]  Drakenstein Municipality is also of the opinion that its spraying of the oak trees is lawful, which in fact it is not.  Its actually a violation of Act 36 of 1947 to allow spray drift of any registered agricultural chemical to be blown into an area not under treatement.  So when Drakenstein Municipality, under cover of darkness [for obvious reasons] sprays the oak trees in public streets, and the resulting spray drift gets blown into the gardens and open windows of the sleeping residents, Act 36 of 1947 has been violated and Drakenstein Municipality should be found guilty of a criminal offence.


The TATIB Foundation has received numerous complaints from Paarl & Stellenbosch residents regarding the spraying of the oak trees and the side effects suffered by the residents. Stellenbosch Muncip has now stated that it no longer sprays the Oak trees with fungicides, and only uses a foliar feed, as it was found that the fungicides caused allergic reactions.

To blame 5 old "seringa bome"  for the high incidence of hayfever & allergies in the area is really unjustified. If you look at an aerial photo of Paarl you will see that it is surrounded by vineyards and when these vineyards are sprayed, the spray drift generated can only get blown into the residential areas.  Perhaps the park next to Mrs Geldenhuys was also sprayed with a herbicide and that this could have been the cause of her allergies ?   What about the high pollen count caused by the "Port Jacksons " in the area? What proof does Geldenhuys have that the allergies were caused by the seringa trees in the park ?

Perhaps the Oak trees should also be removed as they are not indigenous? And then what about the vineyards, they too are not indigenous and in fact are not suited to the high humidity of the area – hence so many fungal problems?

We suggest that you all go and take a look at the following link :

http://www.thegreentimes.co.za/index.php?storytype=1&storyid=612&id=6&storyaction=viewstory



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LETTER FROM DR JOHAN MINNAAR

Dr Johan Minnaar's letter that appeared in Rapport newspaper following the Chameleons Montessori articles:


Eerstens wil ek vir Marlene Malan van Rapport geluk wens met die reeks artikels wat sy gepubliseeer het oor die gebruik van gifstowwe teenaan ‘n skool in Durbanville. Baie min mense het die moed om oor die onderwerp te praat of te skryf. Wanneer jy waag om dit te doen, word ernstige pogings aangewend om jou so vinnig moontlik stil te maak of dit word afgemaak as snert of les bes, “daar is geen wetenskaplike bewyse” daarvoor nie!
Is dit nie betreurenswaardig dat mense so blind en doof kan wees vir die waarheid nie! Die spreekwoord lui nie verniet, “daar is niemand so blind soos hy wat nie wil sien nie, en niemand so doof soos hy wat nie wil hoor nie!”

Ek is bekommerd  as ek die artikels lees, veral in landbou areas, waar dieslefde probleme oor en oor kop uitsteek, ek dink maar aan ‘n paar plekke, Groblersdal, Riebeek Kasteel, Vaalharts, Marble Hall, Stellenbosch, Paarl en Jacobsdal. Is dit dan nie ‘n klinklare bewys dat gifstowwe ‘n gesondheidsgevaar inhou vir mense wat daar naby woon of met dit werk nie?

Ek, as mediese praktisyn, is baie bekommerd oor almal wat op plase werk, woon en skoolgaan, boere en plaaswerkers met hul gesinne,  en ander in nabygeleë landbouareas wat daagliks onwetend en onbewustelik aan verskeie landbouchemikalieë blootgestel word.

Ek het reeds 4 jaar gelede met verskeie staatsdepartemente (Gesondheid, Landbou, Onderwys, Waterwese, Arbeid, asook die Industrie, AVCASA, ACDASA, Croplife in gesprek getree met betrekking tot die probleme van landbouchemikalieë in die Groblersdal area en die effek wat dit op die omgewing, water en menslike gesondheid het.  Ek het voorgestel dat daar in die toekoms gekyk moet word na woongebiede en skole naby of tussen landbou areas. Bufferzones, lugbespuiting naby woongebiede ens, nodeloos om te sê, ek wag nou nog op terugvoer.

Miskien het dit tyd geword dat daar opgetree moet word teen die verskeie departemente. Ek het op verskeie vergaderings met dept landbou en die industrie versoek dat daar op die etikette  van gifstowwe moet verskyn dat dit  neurotoksies, karsinogenies, hormoonversteurders, inferteliteit ens kan veroorsaak. Onnodig om te meld dat hulle glad nie geneë met my voorstel was nie, aangesien dit sekerlik tot ‘n daling in verkope sal lei. Persoonlik voel ek dat dit krimineel is om sulke noodsaaklike inligting van die verbruiker en die publiek te weerhou.  Dit is juis dié mense wat  daagliks daarmee werk en in kontak kom op plase, by skole, huise, troeteldiere ens, wat nie werklik ingelig word oor die gevaar van plaagdoders nie. Verder bestaan daar ‘n groot gebrek aan kennis wat betref die gevare van kroniese lae dosis blootstelling en die effek op die omgewing en menslike gesondheid. Ongelukkig word die uitwerking van gifstowwe jare later eers gesien, met tragiese gevolge.

Gif word nooit aan sekere siektetoestande gekoppel nie, want die beeld word uitgedra dat dit  “redelik veilig” is, want sommige gifstowwe kan sommer vanaf die winkelrak gekoop word, selfs kinders het toegang tot “soms baie gevaarlike gifstowwe”. Verder word dit ook as “veilig” bemark solank daar volgens die etiketvoorskrif gewerk word. Hierdie aspek het ek ook 3 jaar gelede met dept landbou bespreek, maar dít het ook op dowe ore geval!

Ek het persoonlike ondervinding en ervaring van die effek van gifstowwe op my gesondheid en die van my pasiënte opgedoen in die omgewing waar ek woonagtig is, Groblersdal. Ons het ook met kroniese siek kleuters gesit. Kinders is meer sensitief en reageer vinniger as volwassenes op gifstowwe. Hulle asem dieselfde konsentrasie in, maar hul liggaamsoppervlakte is soveel kleiner.
Voor 2006 het ek baie pasiënte verkeerd gediagnoseer wat herhaaldelik met dieselfde simptome en klagtes van hoofpyne, duiseligheid, naarheid, erge moegheid by my gekonsulteer het.

Alles het vir my duidelik geword nadat ek fakse van die lugbespuitingsoperateur ontvang het en ek eers begin ondersoek doen en uitgevind het van waar en waarmee gespuit word. Wanneer ek dan die gifetiket se newe effekte soos hoofpyn, duiseligheid, moegheid, diaree, sinus, rooi oë, gesigspiere wat spring (fassikulasies), bewe (tremor) lees, kon ek makliker diagnoses van vergiftiging maak deur te vra waar die pasiënt woon of werk, en of daar met gif gespuit is al dan nie.

Chemiese patoloë het my aangeraai om ‘n bloedtoets “RBS – Rooibloedsel-cholienesterase” te monitor. ‘n Ensiem in ons liggame wat geaffekteer word deur organofosfaat en karbamaat gifstowwe. ‘n Daling van 30% dui op akute organofosfaat /karbamaat vergiftiging. Ons ensiem het met tye gedaal tussen 20% en 35%. Skokkend hiervan is die feit dat ons nie met gif werk nie, dit is die daling wat veroorsaak is deur die gif wat ons onwetend vanuit die omgewing inasem. Die resultate uitgebeeld op ‘n grafiek dui dan op ‘n lae dosis chroniese blootstelling met episodes van akute vergiftiging wanneer daar gespuit is en daar ‘n skerp gifreuk in die dorp teenwoordig was. Dit was vir my skokkend toe ek in 2009 die verslag vanaf Dept Waterwese en Bosbou ontvang waarin ‘n grafiek van al die lugbespuitings wat gedoen is oor die tydperk asook ‘n grafiek van die gifstowwe wat die meeste gebruik is vir lugbespuiting vir die ooreenstemmende  tydperk,  nl karbamate, organofostate en verskeie ander gifstowswe. Die grafiek van die aantal lugbespuitings het die presiese teenoorgestelde verloop gehad as die van die ensiemwaardes, met ander woorde: hoe meer lugbespuitings in ‘n maand toegedien was, hoe laer die ensiem. Hoe minder lugbespuitings, hoe hoër die ensiem. Hierdie was vir my ‘n klinkklare bewys van die blootstelling aan organofosfaat/karbamaat gifstowwe vanuit die omgewing.

Dit was nie soseer die simptome op die etiket wat my bekommer het nie, maar die langtermyn gevolge wat nie op die etiket verskyn nie, nl kroniese respiratoriese probleme, neurologiese versteurings (ADHD, Autisme, Parkinson’s, Altzheimers), kanker  sien www.chemtrust.org.uk, “A review of the role pesticides play in some cancers: children, farmers and pesticide users at risk?”,  ontwikkelingsversteurings, effek op fertiliteit, geboortedefekte, miskrame, stilgeboortes, velsiektes, immuunonderdrukking, genetiese afwykings, hormoonversteurings (estrogeen, progestoroon, testosteroon, tiroïed ens). Sien “Our Stolen Future” http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/basics/chemlist.htm

Ek was bekommerd oor die water in die omgewing en het die dept Waterwese genader om ‘n studie te doen. Hierdie verslag “Report on an assessment of agricultural pesticides in the upper Olifants river catchment” is in my besit en beskikbaar vanaf die departement Waterwese en Bosbou, Eerste uitgawe Oktober 2008. Skokkend was dat gifstowwe wat reeds verban is, nog in die water opgetel is nl. DDT, Monocrotophos en arseenvlakke vêr bo die WGO standaarde. Ek is tans in afwagting op die lugmoniteringsverslag, hoop om die verslag onder oë te kry!

Vir verdere inligting kan u gerus gaan kyk na die “Agricultural Health Study” http://aghealth.nci.nih.gov/ wat  reeds vir die afgelope 17 jaar gedoen word, waarby 89 000 mense betrek is bestaande uit plaaswerkers, -gesinne, plaagbeheer operateurs betrek is.

Ek verwys ook na die “Chemical Exposure Linked to Gulf War Veterans’ illness, “Gulf War Syndrome” http://www.beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/ (Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2008) wat die langtermyneffek van gifstowwe (veral organofosfate) uitlig en beklemtoon.

Verder verwys ek na die verbanning van die gifstof “Chlorpyrifos” in Suid-Afrka waarby ek in Junie 2010 betrokke was. Hierdie gifstof is reeds in 2000 in ander lande (ontwikkelde) verban as gevolg van die toksisiteit op menslike gesondheid, die ontwikkelende kind en fetus.  In Suid-Afrika eers 10 jaar later. Ek het gevra vir ‘n totale verbanning, maar dit is steeds toelaatbaar  vir landbou gebruik. Dis vir my onduidelik waarom hierdie besluit geneem is, aangesien dit ewe toksies is vir boere, plaaswerkers en hul gesinne. Kyk gerus na die nuutste inligting oor chlorpyrifos “Critical window of development” http://www.criticalwindows.com/go_display.php en besluit self! Skokkend dat ons onsself, ons kinders en ongebore baba’s hieraan blootgestel het!

Ek sê altyd gif is vandag veilig, oor ‘n paar jaar word die gebruik daarvan beperk en nog ‘n paar jaar later word dit verban as gevolg van die newe effekte op menslike gesondheid en die omgewing. Hierdie stelling is al oor en oor bewys. ‘n Sprekende voorbeeld hiervan is die alombekende Chlorpyrifos, Monocrotophos, DDT ens.

Die vraag is, “Is geregistreerde gifstowwe veilig?” NEE. Redes hiervoor is die volgende:
1.    Baie van die “veiligheidstoetse” wat gedoen word op die produkte is onvoldoende.

Daar word getoets vir die akute (nie kroniese) effekte van ‘n enkele (nie ‘n mengsel) chemikalieê op gesonde (nie siek, chemies sensitiewe,immuun-onderdrukte ens) volwasse (nie fetusse en jong) diere (nie mense) oor ‘n kort (nie lang) periode van tyd.

2.    Melding van “Inerts” word nêrens op die verpakking aangebring nie. Sommige van hierdie “inerts” is meer toksies as die aktiewe bestanddeel wat wel genoem word.

Sommige gifstowwe word selfs meer toksies soos wat dit  afbreek in die omgewing. Die verbruiker bly oningelig oor die ander chemikalieê in die mengsel, alleenlik die aktiewe bestanddeel word aangedui op die etiket. So bv is daar gifstowwe waarvan reeds bewys is dat die kleefmiddels (inerts) meer toksies is as die aktiewe bestanddeel.

Wanneer ‘n mens eers begin, weet jy nie waar om op te hou nie want daar is net eenvoudig so baie inligting. Ek kan aangaan en aangaan. Verder wil ek dit ook net beklemtoon dat ek in ‘n landbou omgewing woon, geen ander industrie of myne in die onmiddellike en direkte omgewing nie, behalwe landbou. Vir Dr Marais wil ek sê dat hy dalk moet kyk wat is in sy omgewing in Mosselbaai wat die mense siek maak.

Wat vir my onrusbarend is, is die feit dat die departemente en industrie bewus is dat gifstowwe gevaarlik is. Daar is reguit vir my in 2006 gesê, toe ek ‘n vergadering van SHE (Safety, Health and Environment Committee) wou bywoon, dat ek nie welkom  is nie, aangesien hulle ‘n bedryf het om te beskerm. Die industrie word beskerm, maar wat van menslike gesondheid. Geen geld kan gesondheid koop nie!

Vir my as geneesheer gaan dit oor die oorsaak van mense se siektes  en nie net om die simptome te behandel nie.  As ons die oorsake kan elimineer gaan ons  baie gesonder mense en omgewing hê.

Ek sluit af met die aanhaling: “Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to health. The diseases we’re beginning to see as the major cause of death in the latter part of this century and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin”. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist at Texas A & M Universities.

Ek daag enige toksikoloog of persoon uit om my verkeerd te probeer bewys. Die groot probleem is nie die boer of enige persoon wat met die gif werk nie, maar die gebrek aan kennis en inligting by die persoon wat met die toksiese chemikalieë werk.

Ek hoop ek het baie van jul vrae en onsekerheid beantwoord.

Dr Johan Minnaar
Algemene Praktisyn
GROBLERSDAL






Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HIGHLY TOXIC CHLORPYRIFOS

Chlorpyrifos is widely used in Agriculture in South Africa and in the average Western Cape Vineyard & Orchard
It was, until recently,  also registered for domestic use (home gardens,in and around the house, schools,public places) but has since been banned (only for domestic / residential use)
TATIB would like to see this highly toxic organophosphate pesticide totally banned in South Africa.
The article and links below will shed more light on why we feel it should be banned

Chlorpyrifos data now available on TEDX’s Critical Windows of Development.

CRITICAL WINDOWS OF DEVELOPMENT is an interactive website tool that pairs human development in the womb with laboratory research showing where and when low-dose exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals results in altered health outcomes.

 now joins bisphenol A, phthalates, and dioxin in the timeline, which reveals effects of chlorpyrifos on the central nervous system, thyroid, heart, liver and more, in laboratory animals experiencing prenatal and early postnatal exposure.

To see the timeline, go to: http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/home.php
In addition, 13,000 individuals and organizations from across the U.S. sent a letter to the U.S. EPA today calling for a ban on chlorpyrifos and a phase out of other organophosphate pesticides. 
For more information go to: http://www.fwpp.org/?page=OtherDocuments

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

THE END OF THE ROAD FOR CHAMELEONS MONTESSORI AS 'THE NOOSE TIGHTENS'

This week saw the removal of more children and the resignation of another two teachers following unlawful spraying of pesticides on Nitida Wine Farm. 

Perhaps the schools owners will now see the light and agree to move the school to a safer location ?

http://www.rapport.co.za/printArticle.aspx?iframe&aid=5926f2c5-ef12-4567-afc1-def6bba43a25&cid=2400

Friday, October 8, 2010

PAARL POST : TO SPRAY OR NOT

 After receiving numerous complaints, of ill health, following the unlawful spraying of Oak Trees in Paarl, the
 following article appeared in The Paarl Post


In reaction to this recent article, one of the residents has sent in a letter to the Editor of Paarl Post as follows :-
7 October 2010

Dear Madam

I refer to your article “To spray or not?” in the Paarl Post of 7 October 2010.

Your article is mischievous for failing to mention legal requirements for all spraying activity in the vicinity of residential dwellings.

A minimum of 48 hours prior to spraying, residents are to be given written notice. Such written notice must include:
·    Exact date and time of spray activity.
·    Names of products used.
·    Copies of product warning labels.
·    Instructions of what to do in the event of exposure / contamination.

Method of spraying:
·    The application method must ensure that no spray be allowed to drift into residential properties.

The current spray program of the Drakenstein Municipality fails to meet either of these legal requirements. We simply demand that the Drakenstein Municipality obey the law, nothing more.

Furthermore, the issue of product licensing:
Dr Verdoorn fails to address the fact that the products currently in use are not licensed for a residential environment.
I consider myself to be a very safe driver. I have had no accidents or traffic fines in more than 15 years. However, if I had to drive a truck I would be breaking the law as I am not licensed to do so


TATIB would like to comment as follows :-

  1. If Drakenstein Municipality did not feel that exposure to the fungicides was potentially harmful to human health then why would they instruct the residents to stay inside and close all doors & windows during the spraying process ?
  2. There are clear warnings on the statutory Product Labels as to the side effects , to humans, following exposure to these products.  One does not have to be a medical practitioner to realise, after reading the Product Labels, that these products are harmful to humans.     If there is a warning that exposure to the product and spray drift will cause permanent damage to ones eyes, I would rather tend to believe what is written on the label than listen to a consultant paid by the agro chemical industry.
  3. The Product Labels also list the active ingredients. If you run these listed ingredients through The Pesticide Action Network of North America's data base, you will find details and case studies of their molecular structure, side effects, laboratory reports etc. Who do we believe ? Verdoorn or PANNA , INTOX, ILO, WHO, INCHEM , Professor London, Dr Minnaar, Professor Rother.....???
  4. The Pesticide Action Network of North America, has done scientific studies and has access to published scientific reports on the active ingredients of these products. I tend to rather believe their data than the statements made by Verdoorn, whose is after all a representative of the agricultural chemical industry in South Africa and receives payment from them - ie he represents their interests.
  5. The TATIB Foundation has several "medical clusters"  in various regions of South Africa, and our members consist of medical doctors, scientists & professors. Verdoorn seems to believe that he is the only expert in South Africa when it comes to 'agrcultural chemicals'.  
  6. It is interesting to note, that whenever there is an article or report following complaints of spray drift, Verdoorn is there to defend the pesticide industry. Google "Gerhard Verdoorn"  to read even more about what he has been up to - like for example his being Vice Chairman of  "JAG SA"   ( Hunting South Africa).  He also wanted to allow a vast tract of the Karoo to be aerial sprayed with RoundUP a toxic herbicide.
  7. Verdoorn, in his articles in Die Burger & Landbouchemie of 26 March 2010 actually confirms that there is a problem with enforcement of Act 36 of 1947 and that furthermore there is a shortage of experts in South Africa  inosofar the testing of agricultural chemicals is concerned. He goes on to state that "Geen voedselprodukte of plaagdoders word meer ontleed nie" . In other words there really is not much scientific research in South Africa when it comes to pesticides and their symptoms of exposure.  All that we have to rely on, is the information contained in the Product Labels & Material Safety Data Sheets that are supplied with the product itself.   We thus have to to rely on the information to be found on many international sites such as WHO, INTOX, PANNA, INCHEM as there is very little information to be found locally. 
  8. In light of point 7 above , there are no toxicological studies that have been done in South Africa on these products. The experts rely on information from international laboratories. 
  9. Whether or not the fungicides that Drakenstein Municipality are spraying are harmful or not is irrelevant in this issue.  The law (Act 36 of 1947) prohibits any spray drift into a residential area. It would be impossible for Drakenstein Municiplity to prevent spray drift.  The products that they have admitted to spraying are registered under Act 36 of 1947.  They are thus only licensed to spray these products in a legal manner as prescribed by the act.  Clearly they cannot do this and they know there will be spray drift - hence the warnings within their letter. 
  10. The Oak Trees have been around for hundreds of years - during which time they have not been sprayed by Municipalities and yet they have survived and not died. Why is there now a belief that they will die if not sprayed for Powdery Mildew ?  The reason they are sprayed, as admitted  by Drakenstein, is that the farmers who have vineyards have blamed the Powdery Mildew on the Oak trees in the town and have threatened to take action against the Municipality.   The fact is that  the current methods of viticulture, as a monocrop, and given the location of the vineyards & the climate of the region,  have resulted in vines that are very suceptible to all sorts of diseases, vines whose immune systems have been severely compromised. 
  11. Stellenbosch Municipality originally used to spray the same products, and have admitted that after further research, they were told that it would be best to build up the immune system of the Oak tree, by applying a foliar feed, rather than by spraying with Tilt, Bumper & Rubigan - that the latter 3 fungicides actually attack and weaken the trees' immune system making it more prone to fungal attack - which of course is good for the manufacturer of the product as more product then gets sold. 
  12. Stellenbosch Municipality insists that it now ONLY uses a foliar feed - why cant Drakenstein follow suit ?
  13. Regarding the comments made by Derek Clift, fungicides are not, as he states, used to combat fruit fly. Fungicides cannot kill insects. For this an insecticide is used. The story about spraying with water, is an excuse that even the farmer in Riebeek-Kastee tried to use - he told the residents that he sprayed water and that we made up the fact that we became ill. He then went one step further and allegedly told people that a 5 week old child never ended up in ICU, that the baby featured on Carte Blanche was in fact not a real baby, but a plastic doll.  We have medical records and reports to prove that the child spent 45 mins in CPR and more than a week in ICU, following exposure to the "harmless"  products that the friendly farmer had sprayed . We also have written notifications, on the farmers own letterhead, listing what products he had sprayed and in this regard they were class 1b Highly Hazardous Pesticides - like Dichlorvos, Thioflo, Dicarzol etc.
  14. If Verdoorn, Clift, the Municipality & the Paarl Post reporters do not believe that Tilt, Bumper & Rubigan will make them ill, well then let them put their beliefs to the test and allow themselves to be sprayed with the product, or better still stand underneath an Oak tree during the spraying. I guarantee that at the very least they will suffer from burnt, irritated skin , eyes and upper respiratory tracts, and perhaps even corneal damage.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CHAMELEONS MONTESSORI UPDATE

BREAKING NEWS :


The other 2 teachers in the primary school have handed in their resignation today and walked out. The spraying is going on full swing and no-one was notified. Both teachers also report chest problems which started at the beginning of the spraying season. Another child, a boy, taken out with a severe and permanent rash in the groin area. This is the second boy so affected.
 
THE OWNERS & MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE SUED AND CRIMINAL CHARGES LAID AGAINST THEM AND THE OWNER OF NITIDA WINE FARM.

Monday, October 4, 2010

UPSET OVER SPRAYING

Residents of Heldervue Somerset West were recently exposed to a herbicide, with some nasty side effects.

Please go and read up on the article which appeared in The Bolander on 01 October 2010:

http://www.bolanderproperty.co.za/community/659-upset-over-spraying.html

About a month ago TATIB received complaints from residents in ParadysKloof , Stellenbosch, who were exposed to HORMOBAN when a park adjacent to their properties was sprayed.  They had the same symptoms that the Somerset West residents experienced.

The City of Cape Town should be held criminally responsible for these unlawful acts and should be sued for damages. Clearly they hade no idea how toxic these herbicides are, or are very good at evading the issue.

What would have happened had young children, for example, gone into the park shortly after spraying, bare foot, and absorbed the herbicide through their skin ?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ARE THE 'EXPERTS' PULLING THE WOOL OVER THE EYES OF SOUTH AFRICAN'S WITH REGARDS TO PESTICIDE EXPOSURE?

With regards to recent articles in Rapport of  18/09/2010 (Maak plaagdoder skoolkinders siek?)  & 25/09/2010 (Dokter se hy sukkel self in gifstof-omgewing)

Exposure to agricultural chemicals   (pesticides / fungicides / herbicides ) is a well  documented problem in South Africa.

The Chameleons Montessori  issue  first appeared in Die Burger on Friday 26 March 2010,  in an article titled  " Middels plaas talle leerders glo in gevaar "
On  27 March, an article appeared on page 11 of Die Burger     " Spuitstowwe waarskynlik onskadelik, sê kenner " (Gerhard Verdoorn)

There were further articles on the subject that appeared in Rapport on 18/09/2010 & 25/09/2010   ( http://www.rapport.co.za/KaapRapport/Nuus/Twis-oor-gif-by-spogskool-20100918   &    http://www.rapport.co.za/KaapRapport/Nuus/Dokter-se-hy-sukkel-self-in-gifstof-omgewing-20100925  )


Gerhard Verdoorn 's reply, regarding the problem of pesticide spray drift from Nitida wine farm is untrue and misleading. Verdoorn is, I understand, employed by, and or spokesperson / consultant  for, AVCASA & ACDASA and as such represents the agricultural chemical industry in South Africa and so could very well have vested interests. I  leave it up to the readers as to why Verdoorn would make the claims that he does.

If we look at Verdoorn's comments in Rapport on 25/09/2010, he as expected, trashes my opinion saying that as I am not a scientist, my opinions are not based on scientific research . He did the same to Dr Johan Minnaar (a medical doctor) in an article dated 12 July 2008  (Boys grew breasts after crop spraying) that appeared in most of the national newspapers   (http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/boys-grew-breasts-after-crop-spraying-1.408045) in which Dr Minnaar  exposed the well documented problem even further. Verdoorn, however, said Minnaar's allegations were not based on scientific evidence. "I'm sick of everyone jumping on the pesticide bandwagon We're not saying there isn't a slight problem in the area but to attribute every symptom to pesticide poisoning is rubbish … If that's the case then everyone in town, plus the farmers and farm workers, will show the same symptoms." 

So he sees exposure to pesticides like chlorpyrifos as being "slight" and not really worth worrying about ?  We are not talking about low dose exposure here - we are talking  about agricultural strength class 1b pesticides being sprayed in large quantities, with resultant clouds of spray drift being blown into residential areas.

Just why is it that Verdoorn 'trashes' everyone else's opinion besides his own?   I again leave it up to the readers as to why Verdoorn would make the claims that he does.


On the popular TV programme   "50/50"  of  31 May 2010   (http://www.5050.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=446:killer-on-the-loose-street-poisons&catid=49:episode-31-may-2010&Itemid=185)  

Verdoorn had the following to say with regards to a question that was asked :

Question  :  How is this poison ending up on our streets?
Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn:I can give you one answer. Because controls in our country is nullified because of a poor governance system

At a recent SAPCA (South African Pest Control Association)  Verdoorn gave a presentation  on those chemicals which are used in the Pest Control Industry that should, in his opinion, be banned by Government due to their potentially harmful effects on humans, animals and or the environment.  One of the chemicals mentioned was Chlorpyrifos an insecticide which has been used for decades, but which has recently been banned by the South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery.  The Minister banned the chemical for home and garden use, but it is, however, still allowed to be used for pest control in the agricultural sector.  ( http://www.rentokil.com/blog/industry-adapts-to-losing-chlorpyrifos-as-a-pesticide/ )


Earlier this year Verdoorn, on behalf of AVCASA & ACDASA ( the Association of Veterinary and Crop Associations of South Africa   & Agricultural Chemical Distribution Association of South Africa) )  had much to say about the banning of Chlorpyrifos  (http://www.pcsib.org.za/articles/Guillotene-on-chlorpyrifos.pdf)

For the information of the readers, the efforts made by Jurgen Schirmacher, Dr Johan Minnaar, The TATIB Foundation, its members, and several other NGO's, were instrumental in the banning of Chlorpyrifos for residential use within South  Africa. We would furthermore like to see the product banned in Agriculture as it is obvious that given the current methods of application (centrifugal mist blowers and or aerial spraying) the operators are unable to control spray drift into residential areas, and the authorities are unwilling to enforce the law, despite several High Court Orders compelling them to do so.

The spray drift issue and resulting ill health effects hit national television in May 2007 and was aired on Carte Blanche (http://beta.mnet.co.za/carteblanche/Article.aspx?Id=3319)

On 27 November 2009 SAPCA released the following via petwise.co.za   ( http://www.petwise.co.za/live/content.php?Item_ID=1317 ) in which Verdoorn had the following to say:

Dr Gerhard Verdoorn of the Griffon Poisoning Centre believes that people don’t realise that technically, anything can be dangerous to human and animal health – with regards to chemicals. Consumers should be aware of the procedures when using chemicals as it is often not the chemicals that harms humans or the environment but the incorrect use thereof. Verdoorn concludes by saying that it is important for the industry and government to recognise the need for institutions such as SAPCA and that pest control operators should be members of an industry association that can implement self-administration and self-regulation of the pest control industry

Verdoorn just seems to contradict himself so many times. So he now admits that chemicals can harm humans & the environment ?

It is interesting to note that Verdoorn believes that DDT is used in tiny quantities and there is simply no prospect of any environmental damage arising from its use (http://www.malaria.org/bateftddt.html)    Another contradiction by Verdoorn ?


According to  an article ( Cape Times 16 November 2007 )  written by Professor Leslie London , Occupational & Environmental  Health Research Unit University of Cape Town, spray drift has been well documented in many areas of the Western Cape and also overseas and that the scientific evidence on the health consequences of harmful pesticide exposures is extensive. Professor London goes on to say that  " Previous published studies in our unit have shown that only 10% of acute poisoning by pesticides is reported in the current notification system and chronic effects of pesticide exposure go completely undetected."

There are numerous class 1b Highly Hazardous Pesticides, that are registered for use in South Africa, and these are pesticides that are used in vineyards and orchards throughout the Western Cape, and all over South Africa.   Dichlorvos, Dicarzol, Endosulfan, Chlorpyrifos  & Azinphos are some examples  (3 of these are highly toxic organophosphates). When an agricultural chemical is given a class 1b rating, this means that it is a highly hazardous and toxic compound, and that it will cause chronic effects in humans. One does not need to be a scientist nor have to have done extensive scientific research to arrive at this conclusion. The relevant research has already been done by international organisations, like the WHO for example, hence the class 1b rating.


U.N. chemical experts have recommended that the pesticides endosulfan and azinphos-methyl be included in the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. A review committee for the Rotterdam Convention found the chemicals posed an "unacceptable risk" to human health, the U.N. Environment Program said. The panel said endosulfan could cause reproductive and developmental damage. The insecticide is used primarily for cotton, coffee and tea but is also used widely in South Africa , on vineyards for example. Azinphos-methyl is derived from chemical nerve agents used as weapons during World War II. Its primary use is as an insecticide on several kinds of fruit trees.

Verdoorn is aware of the abovementioned review committee's findings yet has chosen to not mention this within his reply. Again we leave it up to the readers as to why Verdoorn would choose to remain silent on this issue. Now who do we believe  - Verdoorn or the Rotterdam Convention ?

A  Somerset West farm, on which another Montessori School is situated, has admitted to using organophosphates in the area, with tests conducted by Universities of Stellenbosch & Koblenz, Landau Germany,  on the Lourens River (which runs through the farm),  confirming the presence of 3 highly toxic organophosphate poisons  (chlorpyrifos, azinphos & prothiofos )

Whilst we agree with Verdoorn's comments, that spraying within the framework of Act 36 of 1947 should pose no threat to the public, the reality of the situation is that spray drift is extremely difficult to control given the nature of the application process.  Act 36 of 1947 specifically states that the Product Label needs to be obeyed at all times. This clearly states that spray drift into areas not under treatement (in this case a school) is prohibited. There is little or no enforcement by the Dept of Agriculture insofar exposure to spray drift is concerned, which is why there are so many cases of pesticide poisonings every year. The actual application is also left to poorly paid farm workers, who for the majority have not been properly trained in the application of these highly toxic pesticides. The farmer is often totally unaware (or at least uses this as an excuse) that his workers spray in such a way that clouds of spray drift get blown into residential areas that border on the farm.

Verdoorn, in his articles in Die Burger & Landbouchemie of 26 March actually confirms that there is a problem with enforcement of Act 36 of 1947 and that furthermore there is a shortage of experts in South Africa  inosofar the testing of agricultural chemicals is concerned. He goes on to state that "Geen voedselprodukte of plaagdoders word meer ontleed nie" . In other words there really is not much scientific research in South Africa when it comes to pesticides and their symptoms of exposure.  We thus need to rely on the information contained in the Product Labels & Material Safety Data Sheets that are supplied with the product itself.   We thus have to to rely on the information to be found on many international sites such as WHO, INTOX, PANNA, INCHEM as there is very little information to be found locally.  

The Deptartment of Health has also admitted that it does not have the resources nor the funds, to research the side effects of all agricultural chemicals that are registered for use within South Africa, and that it relies purely on the information contained in the statutory Product Label & Material Safety Data Sheets.  Its officials have also stated that issues of exposure to pesticides, as a result of spray drift, need to be reported to the National Department of Agriculture as they, The Dept of Health, are not mandated to investigate such matters.   Where they have received complaints from members of the public who have fallen ill as a result of spray drift, they have referred the matter to the Dept of Toxicology at Tygerberg Hospital.   They are also not mandated to enforce the terms and conditions of Act 36 of 1947 (ie no spray drift allowed to leave the area being treated and to blow into a residential area) and so really cannot state that they have found everything to be in order insofar the Chameleons Montessori / Nitida issue. Had the National Dept of Agriculture been called in to investigate, and had they wound evidence of spray drift, I am certain that criminal charges would have been brought against the farmer and school.

With regards to the article in Rapport of  25/09/2010   (http://www.rapport.co.za/KaapRapport/Nuus/Dokter-se-hy-sukkel-self-in-gifstof-omgewing-20100925)  there is a statement along the lines that  " Verskeie provinsiale gesondheidsamptenare by wie KaapRapport kers opgesteek het, stem saam met Verdoorn "  with regards to Verdoorn's belief that neither Dr Minnar nor myself have based our opinions on scientific research.  I strongly urge these so called 'provincial health officials' to come forward and enter into further discussion on this issue as quite clearly they are the ones who have no idea as to the very real, and well documented health issues, associated with exposure to agricultural chemicals (pesticides / fungicides / herbicides )  Looking at the state of our Municipal & Provincial systems, its no wonder that no one knows what is going on.

There has recently been a victory for a family who suffered after being sprayed with chlorpyrifos. They have been awarded  $23.5 million in damages.   
(http://newsandtribune.com/local/x1561144440/New-Albany-family-awarded-23-5-million  )

My family and I used to live next to a vineyard, in a small Boland town named Riebeek-Kasteel.  When we became seriously ill,  following exposure to large clouds of pesticide, we asked the farmer what he was spraying. He told us that nothing that he sprayed was poisonous to man and or the environment.  One of the products that he admitted to spraying (and we have this in writing ) was Dursban - an organophosphate containing Chlorpyrifos. We were sprayed with this product on a regular basis. 

Now in light of the fact that Chlorpyrifos has been banned for residential use ( as international studies have found it to be highly toxic and dangerous to humans, especially children) how could the farmer be so stupid as to tell us that it was harmless?  The same farmer uses Dicarzol  & Thioflo (Endosulfan) both of which are class 1b Highly Hazardous compounds. The farmer, on his webpage, under "farming philosophy ", boasts  that  he uses the bio-dynamic equilibrium method of farming incorporating Globalgap and Natures Choice approved soft chemicals which adhere strictly to world wide export regulations.   Surely the use of Dichlorvos, Dicarzol, Thioflo, Dursban, Folpan (to name but a few highly toxic agricultural chemicals) would not be the correct products to use on vineyards farmed in a so called  "organic & bio-dynamic equilibrium" manner ?  Perhaps the farmer really believes what he says and is prepared to put this in writing, just as he did when he appeared  on Carte Blanche and told South Africa that "nothing he sprayed was harmful to man and the environment".  Like with Verdoorn,  I leave it up to the readers as to why Vlok would make the claims that he does.

Chameleons Montessori is situated on a working wine farm and is, as such, surrounded by vineyards. The vineyards are sprayed by means of tractor driven centrifugal mist blowers, which discharge large volumes of agricultural chemicals (pesticides/fungicides/herbicides) creating clouds of mist / spray drift , which get blown onto the school's premises. The headmistress, has admitted that during the spraying of the adjacent vineyards, the children and brought indoors and all doors & windows firmly shut. Whilst this may help insofar their exposure during the spraying process, as soon as the children are allowed outdoors, they will be exposed to the volatile vapours and residues that have settled for example, on the lawns and other areas where they play.  Nitida wine farm has admitted, in writing, to spraying the following agricultural chemicals :-

Folpan, Sovrin Flo, Topaz, Mamba, Spiral, Thiovit, Korog, Legend, Hygrobuff, Diathane/Dithane, Rootmaster, Prosper, Phopshite, Acarol, Goemar, Switch, Nufilm.

It would be relatively easily, for anyone with internet access, to locate the statutory Product Labels & Material Safety Data Sheets of the abovementioned products, so as to see for themselves the obvious warnings with regards to exposure to these products.

Folpan, according to its manufacturers, induced duodenal tumours (cancer) when exposed to laboratory mice. On one Folpan product label, its manufacturer warns that this product must not be sprayed nears schools, creches, parks or public places and that this product is not suitable for use in the domestic garden. According to tests conducted by The Pesticide Action Network (PANNA) Folpet, the active ingredient of Folpan, is a known carcinogen.

Mancozeb, the active ingredient of Diathane/Dithane and Misaxinal , contains Manganese which is a neurotoxin. According to PANNA, Mancozeb and its break down product Ethylene Thiourea, are carcinogenic, reproductive & developmental toxins, and endocrine disruptors. These are certainly not the kind of chemicals that should come into contact with children.

Tatib has, in its posession, doctors reports/letters  & photographic evidence, following the exposure of 2 adults and 1 child to Prosper (one of the products used on Nitida) that resulted in acute dermal burns (contact dermatitus) , burnt eyes and respiratory tract inflamation. Again these are certainly not the kind of chemicals that should come into contact with children nor adults for that matter.

The problem with Chameleons Montessori is that it is situated on a working wine farm, where agricultural chemicals are sprayed by means of mistblowers. There will thus be exposure to the spray drift, volatile vapours and toxic residues. Either the school needs to be relocated, or the farm needs to look at alternative methods of spraying  and the use of organic & environmentally  / human friendly products.

Tatib also has in its possession, details of what has been sprayed on the Oak trees of Stellenbosch & Paarl. We also have the Product Labels & Material Safety Data Sheets and then also the WHO & other studies done on the active ingredients and break down products.  There are some very serious and frightening warnings on the MSDS's etc as to the side effects of exposure to the products used. Again in this regard we dont have to be 'scientists like Verdoorn'  to have access to the international studies done on these active ingredients, nor to arrive at the conclusion that these products will harm ones health if one is exposed to them.

There is too much evidence pointing to the fact that exposure to agricultural chemicals can be dangerous to humans.  There will always be those who try to cover up their unlawful activities by trashing the integrity of others.



www.tatibfoundation.blogspot.com             
www.thegreentimes.co.za      
http://www.urbansprout.co.za/the_cost_of_living_next_to_a_vineyard

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chameleons Montessori Covers Up ??



A couple of weeks ago we ran a post about two Montessori Schools situated on working wine/fruit farms.

Chameleons Montessori is to be found on Nitida Wine Farm in Durbanville.

As mentioned previously, Tatib received a number of calls from concerned parents whose children had fallen ill following their exposure to spray drift. We also consulted with one of the teachers who had become so ill that she could no longer work. Within a few weeks of stopping work at the school, the teacher's health improved.

Not wishing to leave any stones "unturned" Tatib dug a little deeper and the more we dug, the more we uncovered.

The headmistress of the school, whom we understand is also one of the owners/directors, assured us that they were aware of the problem, that they had identified the fact that spray drift did blow into the school and for that reason all doors and windows were firmly closed during spraying. When we asked for the spray list she became evasive. And so we approached the farm with our request. A couple of weeks went by during which time we received nothing from the farm. And so we made yet another call and were eventually put through to the farms owner. After much pushing we eventually got the spray list.

We approached the school with our concerns that many of the products sprayed by the farm were dangerous to humans, especially children and that even if the children were kept indoors during the spraying, they would still come into contact with the toxic residues when let out to play.

This is when things turned nasty. We started to receive nasty & threatening emails from a so called member of the schools "business and parents committee", a man who had most probably studied law at some stage and who thought that he could therefore shout the odds and threaten us (and the teachers) into silence. We were told that the Department of Health had investigated the matter and that samples had been taken and tests done and that the Dept of Health could find nothing wrong and that The Dept of Health would be issuing a report in this regard. When we asked the school to submit proof of this, they quickly changed their story, stating that no tests has been conducted. A phone call to the Dept of Health confirmed this, and furthermore that the Dept had last heard from the school early in 2009 and that there was no outstanding report, and furthermore the matter was one that should be addressed by the Dept of Agriculture.

The School then told us that an 'independent environmental consultant' had been appointed and that as such our input was no longer needed. When we asked the school to furnish us with the name and contact detail of this consultant, we were told that they had decided not to appoint one. Why the cover up ? Why the lies ?

We have now heard rumors that some of the teachers received letters in which they were threatened with dismissal and lawsuits, should any more parents take their children out of the school due to the spray drift issue. In other words the school has allegedly attempted to slap the teachers with some form of "gagging order".
Why the cover up ? What do they have to hide ?

Clearly the health of the children is not the priority here - but rather the monthly school fees that they bring in.

So much for Montessori values ??

The full story can be found here :

http://galileogroup.blogspot.com/2010/05/mounting-evidence.html

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HUNGRY FOR CHANGE

PERHAPS THIS WILL HELP YOU ALL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT THE FOOD
THAT YOU BUY ( & EAT)

How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local
supermarkets and serve to our families?


In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on
our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized unde...rbelly
that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our
government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply
is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit
ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the
safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted
chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even
tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the
harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans
annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among
children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

http://www.takepart.com/foodinc

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SCHOOL CHILDREN AT RISK

Tatib was recently contacted by some mothers, who have children at a Montessori School situated on a wine farm in Durbanville. It has been alleged that some of the children, including a teacher, have fallen ill as a result of the products sprayed on the vineyards adjacent to the school. It has been confirmed by the school that spray drift is indeed a problem and that the children are brought indoors during the spraying. The problem with this, is that once the children go out to play after the spraying as been completed, they will come into contact with the potentially toxic residues of what was sprayed. Many pesticides remain active (on surfaces) for days and weeks. Its been well documented, that children are more vulnerable to the effects of pesticides They eat and drink more per Kg of body weight, have higher metabolisms, their skin is more permeable and their livers do not excrete as efficiently as adults. Their hand-to-mouth behaviour increases the chance of ingestion and their dermal contact is increased because of a proportionally larger skin surface, and because they play on the ground outdoors. Recently another Montessori School opened on the grounds of a prominent farm in Somerset West. The Lourens River runs through this farm, and a study undertaken by The University of Stellenbosch and a German University, indicated high levels of 3 organophosphates (nerve toxins) found in this river. Tatib requested a spray list from both farms on which the two Montessori Schools are situated and in this regard the following products have been sprayed : Folpan, Sovrin Flo, Topaz, Mamba, Spiral, Thiovit, Korog, Legend, Hygrobuff, Dithane, Rootmaster, Prosper, Phopshite, Acarol, Goemar, Switch, Nufilm, Misaxinal, Tokuthion, Citrole , Budbreak, Dormex, Chlorpyriphos, Judo, Bumper, Solubor, Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Oxide, Azinophos Methyl, Cypermethrin, Indar, Roval Flo, Zinc Max, Score, Bulldock, Kaptan Flo, Fundazol, Cascade, C.O.C , Chorus, Nimrod, Stroby, Goldenthin, Promalin, Sevin, Nustar,Cascade, Caltrac, Altacor, Penncap M, Droper, Calypso, Calcium Nitrate & Runner. There are few organophosphate "nerve toxins" on the list - one of which has been banned for residential use in South Africa due to the fact that it is so highly toxic. These are certainly not pesticides that should be sprayed anywhere near children. Clearly the current locations of the schools is the problem - they should not be anywhere near a working farm where agricultural chemicals are sprayed. These are private schools for affluent people . What about those other rural farm schools, in poorer communities - where the kids are the farm workers go. How are they going to be protected?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

GEORGINA DOWNS : UK PESTICIDES CAMPAIGN

Georgina Downs    (  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/sussex/7729112.stm)

of  UK Pesticides Campaign   : www.pesticidescampaign.co.uk  has asked us for comments on the following:-

http://www.pesticidescampaign.co.uk/documents/InformationOnPesticidesCo.doc

(It is currently the first link on the website itself at www.pesticidescampaign.co.uk)

The DEFRA consultation is only open until the 4th May 2010. The link to the DEFRA Consultation itself is at:- http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consu lt/pesticides/index.htm

As you will see from the briefing the DEFRA Consultation Document does contain the option for a number of key measures in relation to residents including:-

Ø the option for the prohibition of pesticide use in areas used by the general public or vulnerable groups. (NB. The distance of the no-spray area needs to be substantial);

Ø the option for a new legal obligation for farmers and other pesticide users to provide information to residents and others on the pesticides used. (NB. This needs to be direct access as third party access is not acceptable);

Ø the option for a new legal obligation for farmers and other pesticide users to provide residents with prior notification before pesticide spraying (NB. This needs to be at least 48 hours in advance as it currently is for the protection of bees);

Considering the DEFRA Consultee List is predominantly all chemical companies and other industry bodies (no surprise there!!) it really is critical that the UK Government hears from as many members of the public who are affected or concerned about pesticides as possible even if it is just a short email containing some key points.

The industry is pushing hard for the UK Government to only introduce voluntary measures and so it needs as many people as possible to counter that to make sure the Government know that it is mandatory measures that have to be introduced as voluntary measures do not work, have not worked, however many times they are repackaged etc.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TATIB ENTERS INTO "DIALOGUE" WITH UNIVERSITY OF STELLENBOSCH


On Monday 08 March 2010,  the TATIB Foundations' Steering Committee, and other interested parties, met with  Professor Mohammad Karaan, Dean Faculty of Agri Sciences, University of Stellenbosch.

A  "2 -a-side" sub-committee has now been formed so that TATIB can enter into further discussions with the University, effectively making TATIB the "change agent" within the University system. We are waiting for the University to schedule a time and date for the next meeting.

TATIB has called for the University of Stellenbosch to convert all its vineyards/orchards/farms to an organic, environmentally friendly  & sustainable system, so that spray drift of potentially toxic pesticides into the adjacent residential areas is avoided.

The concept of a "Chair in Organic Agriculture" has been raised by one of  TATIB's members and we feel that this should be acceptable to the University as Stellenbosch probably has the fastest growing body of research into agro-ecological systems and alternatives in South Africa. Its now just a matter of finding funding for this "chair".

Click on the following link for more information :  

http://www.thegreentimes.co.za/index.php?storytype=1&storyid=223&id=6&storyaction=viewstory


Photo shows Prof Karaan , Dean of  Faculty of AgriSciences & Tatibs Chairman Jurgen Schirmacher



Friday, March 5, 2010

URBAN SPROUT : THE COST OF LIVING NEXT TO A VINEYARD



Urban  Sprout have just published a well written story on pesticide spray drift.

Please click on the following link  :

http://www.urbansprout.co.za/the_cost_of_living_next_to_a_vineyard

KWV COMES ON BOARD !!!

Following  a meeting held with Tatib at the Sustainability Institute on 2 February 2010, after Paarl residents had complained about spray drift , KWV drafted some actions  which they plan to to implement over the next few months (research, test and evaluate) and then communicate afterwards in an attempt to raise awareness and share learnings with the rest of the industry.

1. Notification
- Pamphlet drop at all vineyard adjacent properties to raise awareness, establish contact details and provide a KWV helpline number.
- Create a database of potentially affected residents with e-mail alerts system activated
- Notification to start with next spraying cycle

2. Alternative products
- Provide Tatib foundation with a list of biocides used (please see list below)
- Request input on alternative suggested products
- Test and evaluation of alternative suggested products

3. Technology
- Pilot tests on alternative technology to be researched, tested and evaluated during winter months
- Implementation during next spraying cycle

4. Wind conditions
- Monitor by means of weather stations
- Early morning spraying to be implemented

5. Buffer zone
- Adapt spraying programme in buffer zones with alternative products
- Implement buffer zone plan into long term vineyard replanting and development programme

6. Fenceline monitoring
- Residue testing options to be investigated
- Monitor during next spray cycle
- Adapt and implement alternative practices where necessary

7. Long term options
- Continuous engagement and input into Integrated Production of Wine Programme (IPW)

8. Support for other farmers
- Create, test and implement model for KWV spraying
- Share model with industry bodies
- Participate in industry forums to increase awareness
- Media campaign to raise awareness and share learnings

Below you will find a list of substances currently being used in the KWV spraying programme.

Cosavet WG
Dithane WG
Brilliant SL
Ardent SC
Sovrin Flo SC
Phosphite SL
Thiovit WG
Hyperphos SL
Stroby WG
Cymoxazeb WP
Spiral EC
Topaz EW
Roundup SL





Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pre-Polluted Children


Its morally wrong that kids are born pre-polluted with  hundreds of toxic industrial chemicals & pesticides.

Please click on the link and watch the video  :   


http://www.ewg.org/kid-safe-chemicals-act-blog/sign-the-petion-to-protect-kids/

Saturday, January 30, 2010

PAARL POST


Following an article that appeared in The Paarl Post of  26 November 2009 ( see on right hand side), Tatib had the following to say :

We refer to your article titled "Hay Fever Blues" as published in Paarl Post on 26 November 2009, and comment as follows :-

It is a well documented fact that exposure to pesticides causes "hay fever" symptoms - upper respiratory tract irritation / infection, sinus problems, asthma to name but a few.
Exposure to pesticides may also cause more serious problems like central nervous system damage, respiratory problems and even cancer.
It is unlawful, as per Act 36 of 1947, to spray your vineyards in such a way that spray drift ( of pesticides) is allowed to be blown into the residential areas.
The medical effects of unlawful spray drift have been well documented in the Western Cape and internationally.
Many of the pesticides that are used on the vineyards ( in Paarl , Stellenbosch, Franschhoek etc) have been banned in over 62 countries as they are considered to be highly toxic - yet in South Africa ( which is a 3rd World Country) they are still in use.
Every citizen has the right to live in an environment that is not harmful to his/her health and well being - this is enshrined in The Constitution.
Your reporter seems to feel "that this is a small price to pay for living in this magnificent valley". This statement is highly irresponsible and is an indication of the attitude that seems to be so prevalent. ie you either allow us to poison you with pesticides or you move back to Cape Town. Yes Paarl is beautiful and the vineyards do add to this beauty. But there should never be an attitude along the lines as people need to pay this small price . One cannot and should not peg a price on ones health, especially when it has been medically proven ( the research is there) that exposure to agricultural pesticides causes far more serious illnesses than "Hay Fever ".

If you would like more information and would like to engage in responsible reporting, then we suggest that you contact us and we will prepare a formal press release in which all the facts are clearly placed before you, so that you can enlighten your readers as to the dangers posed by the pesticides sprayed on the adjacent vineyards and then also their constitutional rights. Several doctors & medical practitioners actually attended TATIB's meeting and they too have confirmed that they have a large number of patients suffering from exposure to pesticides. You are sitting on a ticking time bomb. You need to alert your local Municipality for the sake of all your health, especially your children.

regards
Tatib Foundation

On 12 December, Tatib received an email from a Malcolm Gordon as follows :-

Pesticides can cause hay fever Paarl Post 10-12-2009
Can you provide me with any more information relating to your organisation and the abovementioned article.
 Thank you,

Malcolm Gordon

We replied to Malcolm and forwarded to him details of our launch , attaching "What's your Poison" to the email.  We never received a response from Malcolm, nor a request for further information.


On 14 January 2010, Paarl Post published the following letter :

Pesticide harmful or not?
 2010-01-14


I REFER to the letter from TATIB “Pesticides can cause hay fever” and the article “Hay fever blues”.

Every year around Spring time, reports surface about hay fever occurring amongst people staying in agricultural communities. These symptoms are often blamed on the application of pesticides.

At this time many grasses and other plants are flowering and the pollen generated, I would suggest, would be more likely to cause some of the symptoms such as hay fever, upper respiratory tract irritation, sinus problems and asthma mentioned by TATIB.

The Nocebo effect (cf Placebo) should also be considered. This effect manifests when a subject has a pessimistic belief and expectation that an inert substance will cause harmful consequences and results in the subject believing he or she is adversely affected.

I firmly believe that we need watchdog bodies in society who keep a critical eye open on all matters that could affect our health and well-being and who prevent unwanted practises going unseen in our communities. However, it is not helpful when sweeping statements are made by those seeking attention for their cause.

The suggestion that the application of pesticides in our farming areas will cause “central nervous system damage, respiratory problems and even cancer” is untrue and irresponsible.

The statement “Many of the pesticides that are used on the vineyards in places like Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek have been banned in other countries as they are considered to be highly toxic” is false.

Farmers who export their wine, grapes or fruit are required to follow pest control programmes which are very strictly monitored down to farm level by our own authorities and the countries and their supermarkets that receive these products.

Products used for crop protection are developed by responsible international companies who take great care to ensure their safety when used as prescribed.

It takes ten years from the discovery of a new chemical up to commercial use. In this time the toxicology of the product is intensively researched and studies on toxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and mammalian reproduction are done.

In addition, environmental studies are undertaken to determine e.g. the effect on beneficial organisms such as bees, naturally occurring predatory insects and micro-organisms. Approximately one third of the total cost of the development of a product (±150 million 1999) is spent on toxicology and environmental studies.

At the turn of the last century, Vine Sulphur dust was found to control the devastating powdery mildew on grapes.

Used at up to 20 kilograms a hectare it was extensively used for many years in the Cape winelands. Contact with this dust can cause extreme eye irritation, burning throat and other respiratory symptoms.

We have come a long way since then and well-researched products applied at a fraction of this rate give good pest control results with minimum effect on man and his environment.

Products used in crop protection today are generally increasingly safer to humans and the environment and this should be recognised.

This increasing emphasis on safety has been driven by the manufacturers’ own conscience and an ever watchful public eye.

Malcolm Gordon

We responded via email to Malcolm, copied to the Paarl Post as follows :-

Dear Malcolm

In reaction to your letter in The Paarl Post :-

It is rather unfortunate that you have taken the approach that you have - but as the saying goes " there are none so blind as those who dont want to see"

Are you a medical practitioner or are you part of the farming  / agrochemical industry ?

We have attached the latest amendments to Act 36 of 1947 and then also details of what is sprayed on the average vineyard in the Western Cape (we have written notifications from farmers to back up the accuracy of this list ), together with a Synoptic List prepared by the LRC (UCT) after extensive research. You obviously did not take the time to read "whats your poison" which was included in the email that we sent to you after you made contact under the pretext of wanting to know more.If you do further research, you will quickly see that many of the products ( as per attached list) that are used in South Africa have indeed been banned in other countries. The reason that they have been banned is because they are dangerous to both human and environmental health. That is the reason why they have been banned.

We have also attached a few "Product Labels" which are the statutory documents that are dispatched (under act 36 of 1947) with each and every agricultural chemical that is registered for use in South Africa.  Go and take a look at the side effects ( and special warnings)  of Dichlorvos, Dicarzol & Thioflo. Thioflo, contains Endosulphan, which has been widely used in the vineyards of the Western Cape. After further research, following numerous incidents in which many people exposed to Endosluphan have died, the Manufacturers of this product have been told ( by the international agencies) to cease all manufacture of this product and to recall all stockpiles of it . Endosulphan has now, we have been told, been banned from being used  in Agriculture. Dichlorvos is an organophosphate poison, which happens also to be a known neurotoxin. It was developed during WWII as a chemical warfare agent. All 3 mentioned are classified as Class1b Highly Hazardous Compounds by both the WHO & National Dept of Agriculture ( their 1b classification is clearly printed on their product labels).  Take note of the withholding period of Dicarzol - ie how long it remains active on certain fruit after being sprayed and the clear warning that one must under no circumstances enter the vineyard within 2 days of the product being applied unless wearing protective clothing. Now what happens when this product gets blown into a residential garden or house?  We have seen several photos and videos showing spray drift blowing into the residential areas bordering vineyards and so there is no disputing the fact that spray drift does indeed occur.

The Registrar of Pesticides ( Nat Dept of Agriculture) after a recent conference-workshop in JHB between 6-8 Dec 2009, stated that pesticides are designed to kill and that changes are going to have to be made to the legislation in this country. If you would like his contact details please feel free to contact us.

To state that the "Placebo Effect"  is to blame for the high number of people suffering from pesticide related symptoms is grossly incorrect. There are many doctors and specialsts (even in Paarl) who believe that exposure to pesticides is causing health problems. Again many case studies have been done. You need to go back and do some more homework. We have attached an article written by Professor Leslie London that appeared in the Cape Times a few years ago. He has done several in depth studies on pesticide spray drift and resulting ill health.He has also written many books on the subject. We suggest that you contact him and allow him the opportunity to enlighten you further. We do not profess to be pesticide experts, nor do we profess to be medical experts - we are an organisation composed of concerned residents,parents, students & farmers. There also happen to be a number of doctors, specialists and medical practitioners as part of Tatib. There is still a lot of work to be done. We could put you in touch with many doctors/specialists in Paarl who will enlighten you to the fact that there are a large number of ill people as a result of spray drift. One of the  local doctors has stated that he regularly treats a farmer from Citrusdal, who ends up in a well known private clinic in Paarl ,with serious poisoning due to the pesticides that he sprays on his citrus orchards.

If you do some research into the "multinational chemical giants" you will soon realise that they have in many instances been fined and or found guilty after it has been shown that they have been misleading the public and or poisoning people by means of the spray drift from their products. This has been well documented and cannot be denied. The testing that they carry out is not on humans but rather on laboratory mice and rats, and more than often ( as many renowned professors will state) its more than often the cocktail of pesticides that is more harmful than the actual individual ones - which is why in the amended act there is  specific mention of  the mix /cocktail of pesticides.Also it has been proven that the so called "inert" ingredients or "carrier products" are often more toxic than the active ingredients.

Clearly the alleged "environmental studies" that you say are undertaken as part of the product development are just not good enough - if you do your research properly you will soon see that the dwindling honey bee population has been found ( and proven) to have been caused by the use of insecticides in agriculture. The persistent organic pollutants  ( like DDT, Lindane and many others) that were supposedly tried and tested and found to be safe for use and harmless to the environment, have now been found to be so toxic that they have been banned worldwide, and furthermore that they never break down ( hence the term Persistent Organic Pollutants) in the environment.

Vine Sulphur Dust - is still used in the vineyards to combat various fungal infections, and its used at a rate of a lot more than 20kg per hectare (we have been told)  - and according to the manufacturers, its totally harmless - this in contradiction to your statement that it causes extreme eye, throat and respiratory problems. Its also rated with a hazard 4 rating if our memory serves us correct.

Chlorpyriphos ( which you will probably know was used a lot in the domestic garden ) is now in the process of being banned for use ( in South Africa) in the garden, and will be severely restricted insofar its Agricultural use is concerned, because after decades of being on the market, it has been found to be extremly toxic - hence its imminent withdrawl from the South African market . Its already been banned in other countries.

Another well known product  , Dithane, used in most rose gardens (and on vineyards to control powdery mildew) , is only rated 3 on the hazard list. Yet its on a number of international carcinogen lists ( ie its been tested and studied and found to be a carcinogen). Its also on a number of endocrine disruptor and reproductive/developmental toxin lists ( again after extensive research and case studies).  Professor Leslie London, of UCT, is studying this product because it contains Manganese, which is a known Neurotoxin.

Yes, farmers who export their fruit and wine are required to, for example, be EurepGap/ GlobalGap certified. However this does not mean that when they spray they are (a) not using harmful pesticides  (b) spraying according to the law and according to product label. What EurepGap/GlobalGap looks at are the farmer's spray records so as to ensure that the proper "withholding periods" are adhered to. Now bear in mind that this is only for export produce. The Pesticide Action Network (PANNA) of Europe, tested 40 bottles of wine from across the world. According to the press release, one bottle of wine ( from Stellenbosch) was found to contain 2 toxic and banned pesticides.  In another study, done by Professor Leslie London, on the farms around Stellenbosch, large quantities of banned POPs were found - for example over 2 tonnes of DTT, Endosulphan etc.  The certification by the international bodies does NOT look at the method of application nor does it look at whether or not any innocent residents were sprayed in the process. And so for a farmer to say that he must be doing things right, as he is GlobalGap certified means nothing.

In closing however, we do agree that the chemical companies are starting to become more and more aware of the safety aspects of these products and we are happy to see that they are developing safer alternatives, largely due to the concerns raised by the public.  We firmly believe that the "precautionery principle" be applied to all chemicals - and that is that one must assume that a chemical is toxic until such time as it has been proven to be safe, and not the other way round. Too many chemicals that were considered to be safe for use, ended up being highly toxic after reasearch done years after they were released. The case studies are there. Look at DDT , Thalidomide, Lindane, Endosulphan to name but a few.

We invite you to attend the next meeting where you will be free to ask as many questions as you like.

Kind regards

Tatib

Tatib followed up with another email sent to both Malcolm & Paarl post on 16 January 2010 :-


Dear Malcolm,

Now that we know, you are Bayer's Regional Manager for Product Development, we understand your opinion  ( we "googled" you !!)

But then, Bayer of course is in the business of making money from the sale of pesticides.

Were you acting in your personal capacity when you wrote the article, or on behalf of Bayer ?

Does Bayer advertise in the Paarl Post ?

Perhaps you could confirm the accuracy of the  following  that we found via "Google "  ( and then post your reply in the Paarl Post ) :-


BAYER ORDERED TO SETTLE AFTER 24 CHILDREN DIED FROM PESTICIDES : http://www.panna.org/resources/documents/bayerSettlement20070411.dv.html


BAYER EXPOSED (HIV CONTAMINATED VACCINE)  : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg-52mHIjhs

FDA WARNS BAYER :  http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/201001121837DOWJONESDJONLINE000455_FORTUNE5.htm

BAYER URGED TO WITHDRAW  WORST PESTICIDES : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3226.html

BAYER TO STOP SELLING ENDOSULFAN:  http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3030.html   &  http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3010.html

TAKE GLUFOSINATE OFF THE MARKET IMMEDIATELY : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2785.html

BAYER ORDERED TO PAY 2 MILLION US$ COMPENSATION/DAMAGES : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3169.html

BAYER CITED FOR MIC TANK VIOLATIONS :   http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3231.html

BAYER BLAST COULD HAVE ECLIPSED BHOPAL : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2877.html

BAYER UNDER PRESSURE : 128 LAWSUITS IN THE USA : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3122.html

FDA WARNS BAYER : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3082.html

BAYER BEATEN IN COURT OVER PATENT LAW : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3038.html

BAYER BLAMED FOR BEE DEATHS :   http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2821.html &       http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2845.html

CHARGE AGAINST BAYER FOR BEE DEATHS : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2596.html

GERMANY BANS CHEMICALS LINKS TO  BEE DEVASTATION: http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2518.html

BIG WIN FOR BEES: JUDGE PULLS PESTICIDE : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/3190.html

BAYER FINED 10.34 MILLION EUROS : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2521.html

BAYER AGREES TO PLEAD GUILTY AND PAYS $66 MILLION FINE : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2521.html

BAYER : TOP CORPORATE AIR POLLUTERS NAMED : http://www.cbgnetwork.org/2427.html

 There appear to be many, many more lawsuits , judgements against Bayer and the above may just the tip of the iceberg.  We cannot of course confirm that all the above are correct - we only came across these details after doing a "Google search" on "Bayer" . It does however appear that Bayer are not alone, other chemical giants (who also produce pesticides) seem to have long lists of lawsuits & judgements against them.

Perhaps this should all be published so that the public ( those being poisoned) can do their own research ?


On 27 January 2010, Tatib received a copy of a letter sent to The Paarl Post :-

The Editor
Paarl Post

Friday, 22 January 2010

Dear Sir,

Pesticide Spray practices

With reference to the letter by Malcolm Gordon, published in the Paarl Post on 14 January 2010.

Perhaps it would have been appropriate if Mr Gordon had included his title of Regional Manager for Product Development – Bayer when signing his letter. That way, readers would be able to understand his letter in the context of representing one of the larger pesticide manufacturers. A simple Google search will show the volume of pesticide related court cases his company is facing.

I make no claims of being a chemist, but surely once the chemicals are released into the atmosphere those chemicals will react to whatever is in the atmosphere?

The toxicology impact of the chemicals used in our area will no doubt be highlighted in the research project currently being conducted by Professor London of UCT.

Let’s look at a couple of simple points of law.
Irrespective of what chemicals are being used:
When spraying in the vicinity of a residential area, written notices need to be distributed to all residents within a 5km radius no less than 72 hours prior to spraying. These notices are to include a list of the chemical agents being used together with copies of their warning labels as well as information regarding action in the case of accidental exposure.
Precautions must be taken to ensure that there is no spray drift into the residential area. If wind conditions are such that spray drift (into a residential area) may occur, then spraying is prohibited.

For example, most of the vineyards in our village get sprayed using a centrifugal crop spraying trailer pumping out 8000 litres of pesticide at a nozzle speed of 600 km/h. Quite simply, this method of application ensures that spray drift into the surrounding residential properties will occur – and is therefore breaking the law.

Concerned resident 











Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anonomous Complaints Forum

Following a meeting held today, at The Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, at which members of Tatib, concerned residents, Stellenbosch Municipality, Cape Winelands District Municipality & "The Green Scorpions" were present, a request was made that complainants ( ie those residents who have been exposed to spray drift) be given a way to complain, without their names being given.

In this regard you can either do so by emailing Tatib  : info@tatib.co.za

or post your comments in here - ie comment on this particular  topic of conversation.    All complaints will be treated confidentially and your names will NOT be disclosed to the Municipality.

Monday, January 25, 2010

THE GREEN TIMES

Links to most of the documents discussed in our blog (Whats your poison, amendements to Act 36 of 1947, representations regarding Chlorpyrifos, list of pesticides sprayed on the average vineyard in the Western Cape) can be found in the latest article on Tatib, in The Green Times .   Please go and take a look

www.thegreentimes.co.za



Sunday, January 24, 2010

WHAT'S YOUR POISON













Please go and take a look at this excellent report prepared by The Environmental Justice Foundation



Also download  "END OF THE ROAD FOR ENDOSULFAN

The Green Times

The Green Times

Please go and take a look at the article that has appeared in the latest Green Times, an environmentaly conscious newspaper.

Friday, January 15, 2010

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO ACT 36 OF 1947





Following a workshop, on pesticide spray drift, held in Johannesburg on 7/8/9 December 2009 (due to the publicity generated by the Riebeek-Kasteel, Groblersdal & Stellenbosch Tatib issues), sections of Act 36 of 1947 have been amended so as to tighten up the law, giving greater protection to farm workers & adjacent residents, from spray drift and exposure to pesticides. 

The amendments, in brief, are as follows: 


1.  The pest control operator needs to be registered and have certain qualifications and has to keep strict records (for a specific period of time) of what has been sprayed and has also to spray making sure that spraying takes place according to the various stipulations as per Act 36 of 1947. 


2.  The pest control operator must issue a "treatment notice" at least 72 hours prior to application of any agricultural remedy (pesticide/fungicide/herbicide etc), and that the treatment notice needs to be given to all occupants adjacent to and within a 5 KM radius of the area to be treated. 


3.  The pest control operator is made responsible for ensuring that anyone who could be exposed to spray drift is to be notified before spraying takes place and that the Product Label is followed at all times (i.e. no spray drift into residential areas is to be allowed).


 4.   The pest control operator now has to be physically present to supervise the application of the agricultural remedies by unregistered pest control operator (s) i.e. the farm worker(s) doing the actual spraying, and that way made responsible for ensuring that spray drift out of the area being treated does not occur. 

The proposed final draft is just that (a proposal ) , and we are hoping that the Registrar  (National Department of Agriculture)  will, with further consultation, have the draft promulgated.