The Department of Conservation (DOC) welcomes an initial assessment by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) which indicates that trout caught from areas following 1080 pest control operations do not pose a food safety risk to anglers.
DOC had asked independent researchers at the Cawthron Institute to investigate concerns raised by some anglers that humans could be at potential risk from trout consuming mice containing 1080.
The Institute carried out laboratory based trials involving force feeding trout in tanks with extreme levels of 1080 in an attempt to model the impact on trout.
Early results from the laboratory trials indicated that trout force fed very high doses of 1080 did take up low levels of toxin which broke down over time.
DOC referred these results to MPI for an evaluation of the food safety aspects. MPI released their preliminary assessment today: How safe is trout to eat if caught in areas where 1080 has been dropped?
The MPI report finds that the peak levels temporarily reached within the force fed trout in the laboratory fall well short of breaching internationally accepted standards for human health.
The report also indicates that the peak levels detected in the force fed laboratory trout are a 'gross overestimate' of any likely residue to be found in wild trout.
DOC Director-General Lou Sanson says he welcomes the report’s summary which “strongly indicates the consumption of wild caught trout from areas that have had 1080 applied will not pose a food safety risk to humans.”
“We will continue to work with Fish & Game to provide detailed information to anglers on the outcome of the laboratory trials and about up-coming 1080 operations.
“But this initial assessment by MPI should reassure anglers that the trout they catch are safe to eat.”
Mr Sanson says anglers seeking information about current and planned aerial 1080 operations on public conservation land can find maps and details at current status of Battle for our Birds aerial 1080 operations.