A local medical doctor, a marine ecologist, and oyster farmers are raising an alarm that a nearby monoculture plantation of Eucalyptus nitens may be poisoning local water reserves, leading to rare cancers and high oyster mortality in Tasmania. However, the toxin is not from pesticides, as originally expected, but appears to originate from the trees themselves.
“The toxin is actually coming from the monoculture trees,” Scammell said on Australian news show, Today.
Bleaney, marine biologist Marcus Scammell, and a group of oyster farmers paid out of their own pockets to have the water in question tested for toxins in the St. Helen’s area of Tasmania.
While the test found high contamination, the state government has ignored the findings and claimed that its studies have found no evidence of a rare cancer cluster in the area.
Scammell said that the government’s inaction was “bordering on” negligent.
“We’re not saying we actually have absolute proof of what’s going on. We’re actually saying that this needs to be investigated and it needs to be looked at very carefully,” the medical doctor, Alison Bleaney told the Australian
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