Nice article about Dave Hansford and 1080

June 4, 2017

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, 1080

Dave Hansford from Nelson has written a book (opens new window) - called "Protecting Paradise: 1080 and the Fight to Save New Zealand's Wildlife" - about New Zealand's use of the poison 1080. The name appears to be a play on the Graf Boys' documentary Poisoning Paradise, which tried to paint a picture that 1080 is not as safe as the government says it is.

An interesting part of the book delves into why Dave thinks people are anti 1080 - and that it's not about the science. Rather, he thinks that a lot of the drive for people who oppose what appear to be sensible public measures is a distrust of science.

Stuff's article does a good job of profiling Dave and his work, as an amateur rather than a scientist, to shed light on the misinformation that people often use to claim that New Zealand shouldn't use 1080 to control pests.

Dave's book also talks about other ways that pests could be controlled, including via the use of genetics, and how that idea will likely receive a lot of opposition. The idea was recently mentioned in a Government report (opens new window) about how New Zealand has a lot of work to do if it wants to save many of its native bird species:

"Some of the promising genetic innovations in New Zealand include the development of a stoat lure using artificial pheromones; the development of toxins which killed only the target predator; and Trojan females, in which female predators pass on infertility to their sons."