Watchdog criticises aerial spraying

Officials in charge of aerial spraying campaigns in Auckland and Hamilton failed to pay enough attention to their effects on public health, says the Ombudsman.

In his report – which is released today – Mel Smith found shortcomings in the actions of both the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Health that he said needed to be recognised so they were not repeated.

The report examines the impact the use of the spray Foray 48B had on more than 217,000 people living within the spray zones in West Auckland (sprayed for painted apple moths) and Hamilton (sprayed for Asian gypsy moths) between 2002 and 2004.

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