The Chronicle highlighted a story brought to it by some Taihape farmers and members of the Taihape Deerstalkers' Association, of the imminent aerial drop of 1080 on the Hihitahi Bush. Epro, the contractor paid by the Animal Health Board, laid the pre-feed last week. Marton man Peter Farrell continues the debate.
Marton man Peter Farrell says many people he met in Europe won't eat New Zealand food because of our use of 1080, and a German environmental scientist he stayed with says the New Zealand reports on its use are "cynical and mischievous".
The former journalist was taught by his father to trap possums using dogs and traps and a rifle.
He has also worked in Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki through the regional councils, trapping possums, which was part-funded by the Animal Health Board.
Peter says he agrees with Alan Westerman who wrote in the Chronicle, June 12, that the edges of the Hihitahi could be cropped and "poison (cyanide), trap and shoot, and use dogs to 'tree' the possums where they could be shot".
"If I mistreated an animal in public the SPCA would have me in court in a flash. If I fed possums 1080 and let them die in view of the public there would be one hell of an outcry. Yet, when 1080 is used in forests it appears to be okay. Is this a double standard?" he asks.
These days Peter grows organic at their Marton home, and he and wife Elizabeth have had over 50 willing workers on organic farms (WWOOF) come to stay.
Four years ago the couple backpacked through Europe and visited the biggest organic farm in the world, at Bristol in the UK.
They trekked through all the "Huntervilles, Eketahuna, and Waverleys, as well as the big cities of Europe".
What stunned Peter was that everyone they spoke to in the organic circles said they would not eat New Zealand's food because we used 1080 on our land.
A parent of one of the WWOOFers, an environmental scientist in Germany, told Peter that when he read the stance of the experts on 1080, he labelled them "cynical and mischievous".
Peter said he researched 1080 on his return to New Zealand and during the elections asked the question: "Do you know what the people overseas think about our food and the use of 1080 on our lands?".
He said he received "muffling and shuffling".
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in America has placed sodium fluoroacetate, compound 1080, in the toxicity Category 1 indicating the highest degree of acute toxicity, for acute oral toxicity.