The CSIRO should be required to test for Gunns’ dioxin

Forestry giant Gunns must be prepared to submit to an independent dioxin researcher. Their new $1.7 billion Tasmanian pulp mill is to spew tons of dioxin into the water and atmosphere (as they admit) and Australia doesn’t have a lab safe enough to handle a search for dioxin. Naturally they will claim they do, but when a thoroughbred mare of mine aborted the day after a neighbor used a chemical spray containing dioxin for his blackberries I asked the CSIRO to test for the substance. They said they could but when the test results were returned there was no mention of dioxin. I rang them and they said they couldn’t safely test for it, and no one in Australia could. I asked whether a lab would be developed and they said there would be no need for it.

The reason they can’t test is that once dioxin is concentrated enough for them to find it’s a lethal dose that requires horrendously expensive equipment to handle it.
Given that it is several years since the event I have since attempted to find if there is now a lab in Australia. I’ve been told Nufarm who imports it for use in their pesticides and herbicides has a lab in Western Australia. Stangely enough Nufarm won’t admit to having it.

So, given that Gunns is prepared to pollute the ocean and atmosphere with dioxin
(remember a spill of the substance in Italy required all soil to be removed from a 10 square miles area to a depth of eighteen inches) how can we trust them to make the tests themselves? Should the CSIRO be appointed as the tester?


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