Extra controls on 1080Environment
The Government has introduced tighter controls on high purity forms of 1080 in response to the criminal threat to use 1080 to contaminate infant and other formula, Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.
“I am satisfied that the controls for 1080 in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act are robust, but with this criminal threat we are putting in place extra controls,” Dr Smith says.
High purity 1080 is highly toxic. It is mainly used for the manufacture of pest control baits, but small quantities are also used for research.
“The current regulations have an exemption for research laboratory use, as is the case for dozens of similarly toxic substances. This threat justifies putting in place additional controls that will require tighter security of high purity 1080 in laboratories, tracking of the quantity of the poison stored and used, and requiring Environmental Protection Authority certification of importers of high purity 1080 into New Zealand,” Dr Smith says.
“I have no information that the high purity 1080 sent with the letter containing the threat came from a research laboratory, but I want to take a precautionary approach to minimise the risk of the poison getting into criminal hands.
“We have communicated with research laboratories known to use 1080 about the need for increased security prior to yesterday’s public announcement on the threat, and have had their full cooperation in tightening up security. The new regulations were approved by a special Executive Council yesterday, signed off by the Governor-General last night, and will be published in a special Gazette notice today to take effect immediately.
“These regulatory changes make it unlawful for anybody to possess 1080 without the prior approval of the Environmental Protection Authority, including research laboratories. It will enable the Authority to better track the importation, distribution and use of high purity 1080, and ensure it is always securely contained.”
The HSNO Act provides the Minister for the Environment with the ability to make urgent changes in the public interest without consultation.
“The regulatory controls on the importation, distribution and use of 1080 are tight but no controls can be 100 per cent when people are threatening to take criminal action. These changes will make 1080 the most tightly regulated toxic substance in New Zealand,” Dr Smith concluded.