ecoglobe [yinyang] news (8 October 1999)

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Frogs Revisited
Pesticides Cited in Frog Deformities

Last year ecoglobe published an article on frogs. We heard stories of sightings of deformed frogs in the kiwifruit orchards of the Bay of Plenty. We asked a round but found no confirmation. But it would not surprise us if similar evidence as in the following story from the USA would now surface in New Zealand as well.    

    October 6, 1999 United Press International

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Studies published in the October issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry find, according to this story, that pesticides are linked to deformities found in frogs in Minnesota, but scientists say they still don't understand whether the findings will have any impact on humans.

    Jim Burkhart, one of the studies' co-authors, was quoted as telling Wednesday's Minneapolis Star Tribune that, "At this point we can't say this is something that applies only to frogs." The story says that in one of the studies, scientists took water sediment samples from six Minnesota ponds and studied them over an 18-month period. A number of chemicals were present, including many that came from pesticides.

    The other study involved raising frogs in water taken from various sites. Those frogs raised from cleaner sites or in water that was filtered displayed few deformities.

    Another of the study participants, Doug Fort, said the chemicals suspected of causing the problems appear to have one thing in common: they all affect the thyroid gland, which is responsible for growth, maturation and development in most animals. Adding thyroid hormones to the mix appeared to decrease the incidence of deformities.

[Information received from Fri Oct 8 01:00:53 1999 listserve]

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ecoglobe [yinyang] news (8 October 1999)

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