KIN’s Non-Fiction Book Of The Year

The case for 1080 blown apart

By Roger Childs

This voyage of discovery into 1080 poisoning in New Zealand is a very important book.

The author Fiona M F McQueen, has had as distinguished medical and academic career, is a keen tramper and lives near Glenorchy in Central Otago.

She knew little about the topic, when she first contacted scientist and anti 1080 activist Jo Pollard.

What she has uncovered in her investigation, is an indictment on the Department of Conservation’s decades of persistent poisoning of back country areas, with pellets that can kill anything that breathes.

An environmental crime

Author Fiona McQueen

Initially McQueen found it astounding that DoC could be leading the charge on 1080.

However, the more she delved into the issue, the more she became convinced that the country was the victim of a huge eco-crime backed by vested interests.

To quote the back of the book: This environmental crime, backed by powerful forces and carefully contrived propaganda, is exposed in this thought provoking book which should make every reader uneasy at this wholesale and unnecessary massacre of living things in the bush …

Comprehensive investigative journalism

This is not an unsubstantiated anti-1080 rant. The Quiet Forest: The Case Against Aerial 1080 is a systematic analysis of sodium fluoroacetate, the New Zealand industry and the impact the pellets can and are having, on living things from insects to humans.

Early in the book McQueen sets out the questions she wanted to answer, and then at the end sums up what she has found out.

With her medical background McQueen has a thorough knowledge of toxicology, and her academic experience makes her an expert in analysing research. She perceptively evaluates scientific papers which have been used to both support and oppose the on-going use of 1080.

She also recounts the experience and views of many people on the ground who live close to areas where the helicopters have dropped their lethal loads.

A very significant book

This lucid and comprehensive investigation is one of the most important books to have been published in New Zealand in recent years.

Don’t take a position on 1080 until you have read The Quiet Forest.

(It is published by Tross, and available from Paper Plus and other good book shops.)

To read Leslie Clague’s excellent, earlier review, scroll down to November 29.