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  QUESTION: An Extract on Dr Mark Jacob, 10 Jul 2005, Auckland New Zealand

Our local west Auckland paper (Western Leader, Thursday July 7, 2005 Page 7) reports our public health director Dr Mark Jacobs as saying "We are pleased these reports do not find anything that wasn't expected."

The reports Dr Jacobs is referring to are the follow up studies to the health effects of the aerial spraying of the pesticide Foray 48B from January 2002 -May 2004.
Would he be the same Dr Mark Jacobs that said that "confusion over terminology 'outbreak' and 'poisoning' could create unnecessary concern among West Coast residents" with regard to the suspected lead poisoning? www.lead.org.au/mr/19-10-00.html

Is he the same person?
jen bee

EMAIL TWO Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 8:27 AM
Thank you so much. May I post this information on my website? I believe there have been deaths directly contributable to the west Auckland pesticide campaign. some of them quite horrible. even discounting the grief and suffering of those left behind. thank you again for this information.
Jenni Boulton

EMAIL THREE Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 11:40 AM
Dear Lauren, Thank you for your encouragement. I'm passing on your info to WASP (email [email protected]) as well. You are very welcome to watch my posts. At the moment I teach and am prevented by professional ethics to report on the child deaths. but I'm sure there will be a way around sometime in future. I've approached BBC, CNN, UN (what a joke), UK publications, TVNZ, NZ publications. the world seems to be blind. and seems to want to stay that way. God bless Jenni PS Please feel free to leave a comment on LJ at any time

 
ANSWER: 11 Jul 2005

Dear Jenni,

yes it is the same person. Here is an extract from http://www.health.govt.nz/about-ministry/leadership-ministry/roles-have-statutory-function New Zealand Ministry of Health, downloaded 23/05/2012:

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Jacobs

Dr Mark Jacobs joined the Ministry of Health as Director of Public Health. Mark is a specialist public health physician, with broad experience as a public health practitioner and manager in Australia and the Pacific.

Before joining the Ministry, Mark managed the Public Health Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, providing advice on public health issues to Pacific island governments and overseeing implementation of regional programmes addressing a range of public health issues.

Before that he was Director of Public Health in Tasmania, leading public health efforts in that state including legislative reform, response to communicable disease outbreaks and environmental health issues, health impact assessment and NCD and injury prevention, as well as advising government.

Earlier he worked in rural and remote areas of New South Wales, primarily focussed on communicable diseases and environmental health.

Mark's particular interests include healthy public policy, encouraging multi-sectoral action to improve public health, health emergency preparedness and global health. [end of extract]

Dr Mark Jacobs first came to our attention as the Director of Public Health in the Far Western Area of New South Wales which includes the town of Broken Hill, home of the world's largest lead mine. Perhaps it was here that he became used to half the young children having a blood lead above the World Health Organisation's guideline. It was while he was the Director of Public Health, Tasmania that he claimed there was confusion over the terminology 'outbreak' and 'poisoning' in response to my use of the terms regarding an outbreak of lead poisoning in Queenstown, Tasmania from 1997 to 2000. I certainly was not confused and I used the terms in exact compliance with the definitions of 'outbreak' and 'poisoning' given in "Tasmanian Consolidated Legislation - [Extracts On] Notifiable Diseases From The Public Health Act 1997". In early 2002, I had cause to write a letter of complaint about Dr Jacobs to the then Tasmanian Health Minister Judith Jackson, which began:

23RD January 2002
RE: Tasmania's commitment to dealing effectively with lead health issue
Dear Minister Jackson,
I have just heard that Dr Mark Jacobs has left the position of Director of Public Health and has gone overseas (presumably to live and work). I take this opportunity therefore to point out that you allowed Dr Jacobs to fail to carry out his duty, and to express my concern that you do not allow his replacement/s or other responsible employees to continue in the same way.
To my knowledge, Dr Jacobs failed in his duty under Section 49 of the Tasmanian Public Health Act 1997, as Public Health Director to "provide a council with a report on the occurrence of . any notifiable disease within its municipal area" on at least 25 occasions when he received notification from a pathology laboratory that Adrian Oates and his siblings had the notifiable disease of lead poisoning. This failure to carry out his duty occurred throughout the period 1997 to 2001, and even continued after the Oates family had been relocate d in early 2001 to their new council area of Waratah-Wynyard....
Secondly, you stated in your letter to me, dated 27th October 2000, that you had asked Dr Mark Jacobs, Director of Public and Environmental Health, to meet with me on your behalf to discuss the issues raised in my letter sent on 16th October 2000. Unfortunately, due to lack of funding I was unable to attend the planned meeting on 18th December 2000 but when I sent a member of The LEAD Group's Technical Advisory Board, Mayor Darryl Gerrity of West Coast [of Tasmania] Council, to represent me, Dr Jacobs did not turn up to the meeting. It would appear fair to say that many of the issues and solutions discussed at that meeting have failed to materialise. Similarly, I believe most of the measures you wrote of in your letter to me dated 13th December 2000, have failed to materialise, though I would love to be told otherwise and sent the blood lead survey and the information prepared for Queenstown residents. For example, you stated: ".another round of blood testing for children aged 0-4 in Queenstown is planned. The survey will attempt to identify any new children living in Queenstown in the appropriate age group, who have elevated leads. All parents of children who are in the eligible age group will be encouraged to have their children participate.

The survey will be widely publicised in the local area." ".follow-up information about lead for Queenstown residents has been prepared and will be distributed shortly . [including] additional material specific to the West Coast."

Additionally, you stated in your letter to me dated 11th January 2001, inter alia, that: "Tasmania is committed to dealing effectively with environmental lead as a health issue. You will be aware that a survey of children's blood in Queenstown will be carried out this year, with input from the local community on the West Coast of Tasmania. This will be combined with a locally based follow-up and education program."

"It is also planned to disseminate information on lead to the Tasmanian community in general, and not just those on the West Coast."

END OF EXTRACT OF LETTER OF COMPLAINT

To this day, I have seen no evidence that any of the actions promised by the Minister at the time Dr Jacobs was the Public Health Director, have been taken, except for a DRAFT factsheet titled [unsatisfactorily in my view] "Is Lead A Problem In Queenstown?" for which I have seen no evidence that it was ever finalised or distributed.
I trust this information is helpful and that you arrive at an acceptable outcome to any approach you may take to ensure protection of your community from the aerial spraying you mention. One can't always rely on the people being paid to do the job. You may wish to check out http://www.ntn.org.au and write to Dr Mariann Lloyd-Smith, Coordinator, National Toxics Network (NTN) [of Australia] at Email or Jo Immig at Email as they have more experience with anti-aerial spraying campaigns than anyone else I know and although, like me, they are not always paid for the toxics work they do, they have the requisite care and concern.
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O'Brien

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