You're quite right Don. there clearly was NOT a patent on the formulation. Patents are public knowledge that is the whole point of a patent. What is was, was a trade secret. Jeez given the number of companies that sell Bt based insecticides you'd think they could have found one that made its formulation public.
big difference in the toxicity of pesticides between the time of application and the time of consumption
The term is withholding period. Heck you can find it on any pesticide/fungicide you buy at the garden centre. For Bt the withholding period should be 0 days unless the wetting agent or something else in the formulation is of risk. Seriously you can eat the stuff - heck you have eaten it.
most produce gets washed at the packing plants.
Which is a damn shame since it has a much chance of doing harm as good. Water on the surface of produce is terrible for its storage.
I have some sympathy for MAF. They were in a rush to try and control this pest and were trying hard to do the right thing at the time. They had to deal with the science involved and the commercial issues and the safety issues. And in all that they forgot to deal with the public concern. I think they could have done better but I don't think for a second they were doing anything other than what they believed was the best they could do for NZ.
Illness caused by fear of spray- I can believe in that!
Absolutely. Heck witchdoctors kill folks using exactly that principle.
Bart (I'm sure I'm me now)
Brent and Bart are almost exactly the same, starts with a B ends with a T has an R in it - ah close enough.
Our friends frequently call us by each others names :).
Brent no Bart no....arrggh
Regarding "What's in the spray?"
One reason that the formulation is "commercially sensitive" is that spray formulations that use Bt are very common and all pretty much exactly the same in effectiveness. So the only way the company can differentiate its product as "better" is to have some secret ingredient, typically something utterly irrelevant to the activity and cheap eg chalk. In short I'd bet that far from the company hiding something dangerous they are hiding the fact that their spray could have been bought at half the price from some other supplier with exactly the same ingredients.
I don't doubt that some folks actually reacted to something in the spray formulation. Basically humans are diverse enough that if you spray enough people with anything someone will react to it.
What I will say is that the active insecticide, Bt, is a bacterium. Spray formulations are made by growing cultures of this bacterium in growth medium of some kind and then usually drying the bacterial soup down. This gives a powder made up of bacterial spores and leftover growth media. The growth media should be harmless.
The bacteria is also harmless as far as anyone can tell. Two parts to that statement:
First it's been tested very thoroughly and it is the active ingredient in almost every organic pesticide. If you eat organically farmed crops you will be eating Bt. And enough folks have eaten such food without harm to be pretty confident about it's safety. But feel free to start a campaign against organic food if you doubt the safety :).
The second part is that the bacteria kills insects (only a very narrow range of insects, not bees) because a protein made by the bacteria is broken down in the insect gut to release a smaller protein that binds to specific cells in the insect gut and causes those cells to become leaky and the insect dies. The receptors in those cells that bind the Bt toxin are not present in anything other than insects. In other words Bt toxin is not toxic unless you are an insect.
That's why the organic farmers love Bt as a spray and that's why it's universally supported.
My guess as to what folks are reacting to is it's probably some wetting agent (detergent) or something in the growth media used to grow the bacteria. Such growth medias are usually fairly undefined mixtures "Yeast Extract" for example is a typical media additive, similar to dried down Marmite. Marmite is pretty damn safe but I bet if we sprayed Auckland with Marmite someone would react. probably an evil Vegemite eater.
But it could be more complex and different people could be reacting to different compounds. Or people could react only if they've just been exposed to something else as well. I doubt anyone will ever be able to figure out exactly what the cause of every reaction is.
However, I think MAF could have done better and I think the media could have done better and I think the protesters could have done better. Hmmm guess they are all probably human then.
Do NOT go to the toysinmotion web site if you occupy a shard office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you say, the All Blacks have played better. But there simply has never been a test half where one side has been so overwhelmingly dominant in all measures and yet somehow failed to procure a single penalty.
I'm sorry but I watched that game too. Yes our forwards played well and the lineout was great.
The backline was hopeless. Nobody in that backline had any clue what to do. They were each individually very talented but they had no fluidity and no cohesion. As a result they were simply not able to penetrate.
To me the backline in particular did not play like a team. That kind of teamwork only comes from practice, and in particular practice together and in particular practice together in real games.
Mr Henry chose not to play a consistent backline. It was a big call and the consequence was in that game (where yes the ref sucked, and yes the French played better than expected) the ABs played poorly.
And afterwards Mr Henry said he wouldn't have changed a thing?
If he had said
"we tried a new approach, that works well in other sports, but it clearly didn't work for us"
then I would happily have him for another 4 years.
s it really the case that the previous four coaches of the All Blacks were losers who needed to "take responsibility" by resigning or being fired?
Not at all. I have no real problem with a coach trying something new and having it fail. I like to see our sportsfolk win but sometimes you don't.
I don't demand coaches resign because they fail.
But if you deny that anything went wrong. For example JB said it was OK to allow our test cricket skills to wane because we would do really well at the one day game. And then we do really crap at the one day game and JB says everything is just fine and there is no reason to change anything ... then I have a problem.
The example from that sport played in winter is more egregious. I think the problem is not the JH failed, the problem is that he won't accept that he made a bad call. If he doesn't accept he made a bad call then there is no reason not to do exactly the same thing again. If you do the same thing again you can expect the same result. That's why I don't believe either JB or JH should have kept their jobs.
Failure is not the problem - denial is the problem. Hmm I seem to remember a blog post with something like that in the title...
It's cricket season dammit!
So I'll keep my opinions about coaches in NZ general.
I don't mind sticking with losing coaches. All coaches lose sometimes.
Really good coaches can identify their own errors and really good coaches have the people skills and management skills necessary to admit when a mistake has been made.
Both JB and JH failed in their efforts to win a world cup. And both made quite dramatic calls leading up to the world cups. Both teams failed to perform as well as they could/should. And both coaches were demonstrably wrong.
And both coaches have not admitted that they stuffed up.
For that reason I believe both coaches need to be replaced.
Why is it in NZ that we tolerate this behaviour where someone in authority stuffs up and it's OK to let them carry on without ever admitting their mistake. It isn't restricted to sports coaches. And it is a serious problem when it is something less trivial than a sports coach eg a DHB chairperson, or a police commissioner.
And frankly at this time of year I couldn't give a rats arse about rugby but dammit why can't we get rid of the incompetent that is in charge of our cricket team???????
Back to talkback now...
Mark pointed to Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser which was published in 2003.
From the review of the book in The Guardian It seems that in 2003 Porn was as big as Holywood at around US$10 billion and about half as big as corn at US$19b
And that was 4 years ago!