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Fluorocitrate and nitrogen fixation tests and replicated research

Kathy White made this Official Information request to Landcare Research New Zealand Limited

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From: Kathy White

Dear Landcare Research

Under the official Information Act I would like to ask the following questions:

1. Is there a test for any type of fluorocitrate available in New Zealand (this is a metabolite of 1080)? How long has it been available?
2. Have you ever tested for fluorocitrate in water, in alga, or in animal tissue? What else have you tested for fluorocitrate?
3. Have fluorocitrate tests ever been done internationally on our water, alga, animal tissues, etc?
4. If the fluorocitrate test(s) do not exist in New Zealand, who made the decision not to have the tests available or to test for fluorocitrate?
5. Do you believe there is a need for the fluorocitrate test? Please explain reasons for your answer.
6. If there is a test for fluorocitrate, what are we currently using this test for?
7. Have you or any other research agency ever tested for fluorocitrate in places like Lake Taupo in the water and in the alga?
8. Are you aware of the overseas research (see attached, Gallon et al) that says that 1080 causes accumulated citrate, that it alters the lipid composition of algal cells and that it also dramatically decreases the ability of alga to fix nitrogen?
9. Has Landcare Research or any other research agency investigated this phenomenon of 1080 causing accumulated citrate and affecting nitrogen fixation in Lake Taupo or in any other water body in New Zealand? Note: Lake Taupo now has a cap on nitrogen inputs, and councils around the country are currently working on plan changes around reducing nitrogen loss in their water catchments. MfE is involved in Lake Taupo nitrogen management through the Lake Taupo Protection Project Joint Committee.
10. Are you aware that in the ERMA reassessment of 1080 in 2007 it stated that 1080 is toxic to blue green algae and how significant is this? Is this being investigated, or has this previously been investigated in relation to the Rotorua lakes or Lake Taupo, or any other water body in New Zealand in connection to eutrophication, and toxic algae?
11. Has this international research on fluorocitrate and its effect on nitrogen fixation, ever been replicated in New Zealand? If not, why not, when it was identified as an issue in the ERMA 1080 reassessment of 2007?
12. Has the issue of accumulated citrate and its impact on nitrogen fixation been considered in the Predator Free 2050 decision-making process? This programme has dramatically increased 1080 use in terms of area and amount of bait used per hectare, and therefore it's possibly causing increased nitrogen inputs to water.
13. Has your agency been involved in research on the issue of accumulated citrate and its impact on nitrogen fixation as part of the Healthy Rivers Plan Change through Waikato Regional Council, the NPS on Freshwater Management or other water quality regulatory processes?
14. To your knowledge, could elevated fluorocitrate have implications in other areas that should be explored through research? eg. soil quality, regular meat testing for food safety.

I cannot attach the journal article by Gallon et al here. Please contact me on [email address] for a copy.

Many thanks for your help.

Kathy White
Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua
Chair, Environmental and Services Performance Committee

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Dear Kathy,

 

Your email has been sent on to our technical staff for attention.

 

Kind regards,

 

Karen Scott

 

 

Karen Scott
Social media and community engagement
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
T +64 3 321 9799 | M +64 274 142 474
[1]www.landcareresearch.co.nz
[2]Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research

 

 

 

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From: Landcare Research
Landcare Research New Zealand Limited

17 December 2018

Kathy White
Waikato Regional Councillor for Taupo-Rotorua
Chair, Environmental and Services Performance Committee
Waikato Regional Council

Dear Kathy
Official Information Act request: Fluorocitrate testing and research
I acknowledge receipt of your request dated 2 December containing a series of questions about fluorocitrate and nitrogen fixation tests and replicated research. We will reply to your request as soon as possible.
We have transferred question 12 of your request:
“Has the issue of accumulated citrate and its impact on nitrogen fixation been considered in the Predator Free 2050 decision-making process? This programme has dramatically increased 1080 use in terms of area and amount of bait used per hectare, and therefore it's possibly causing increased nitrogen inputs to water.”
as the information is not held by us but is believed to be more closely connected with the functions of the Department of Conservation. In these circumstances, we are required by section 14 of the Official Information Act to transfer your request. The contact person there is: Brent Beaven,
Programme Manager PF2050
[email address]

Yours sincerely
Richard Gordon
Chief Executive

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research | P.O. Box 69040, Lincoln 7640, New Zealand
54 Gerald Street, Lincoln 7608, New Zealand
T: + 64 3 321 9999 | F: + 64 3 321 9998 | www.landcareresearch.co.nz

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From: Kathy White

Dear Landcare Research,

I would like to amend my request for information.

When I asked about fluorocitrate in water, I should have said fluorocitrate in aquatic organisms (for instance macroinvertebrates). Fluoroacetate can be detected in water but the metabolite fluorocitrate is only detected in cellular organisms - plants and air-breathing organisms from insects to elephants (please correct me if I'm wrong)

Also, can you please add a question to my request. I understand from reading the reassessment of 1080 in 2007, that we do not use the same water testing methodology for sodium fluoroacetate as a lot of other overseas countries. Can you please clarify this or confirm what the differences are in terms of testing water for 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) in the US, Australia and in the UK, as opposed to how NZ tests and whether each country tests at parts per billion or trillion?

If there are differences in testing between countries (such as the UK, where the Gallon article about fluocitrate and nitrogen fixation was written), how might this affect our calculations and measurements of sodium fluoroacetate, and the metabolite fluorocitrate, and the overall risk assessment of 1080?

Can you please confirm what information you are waiting for from me? I saw that the status said you were waiting to hear from me. Did you want me to provide the Gallon article?

Yours sincerely,

Kathy White

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From: Richard Gordon
Landcare Research New Zealand Limited

Dear Kathy

I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 11 January amending your request of 2 December 2018 and asking an additional question. We will respond to both requests this week.

With regard to your final paragraph below, we do not require any further information from you. The status message you refer to may have been posted by the FYI website.

Yours sincerely

Dr Richard Gordon
Chief Executive
Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
T 03 321 9681 | M 027 224 8143 | [email address]
PO Box 69040, 54 Gerald Street, Lincoln 7608, New Zealand
www.landcareresearch.co.nz

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