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Uptake of the Vertebrate Pesticide 1080 (Sodium Fluoroacetate) by Watercress, a Culturally Important Food Plant

  • Author(s): Ogilvie, Shaun C.
  • Miller, Aroha
  • Ataria, James M.
  • Waiwai, James
  • Doherty, James
  • et al.
Abstract

A field-based experiment was carried out to determine if watercress, commonly harvested by Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, could take up the vertebrate pesticide sodium fluoroacetate (Compound 1080), often applied aerially in New Zealand for the control of introduced vertebrate pests. Single toxic baits were placed within seven watercress stands, while three stands received non-toxic controls. Water and plant tissue samples were taken out to 17 days after bait placement, and samples analysed for 1080 content. 1080 was recorded from treatment watercress samples, with a maximum concentration of 63 ppb recorded on Day 7. Subsequent sampling did not show any 1080 in watercress tissue. It is concluded that there is a negligible secondary poisoning risk to humans via consumption of watercress after exposure to 1080.

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