What is 1080?

The number 1080 will probably not have much significance to anyone who has not lived in New Zealand for very long. However this number brings up suspicion, fear and anger in the hearts of many locals. ‘Compound 1080’ or mono-sodium fluroacetate is a toxin, a lethal poison that has been used for over four decades to control one main invader to New Zealand’s bio-security…The Australian Bushtail Possum.

Discovered in certain types of plants as anti-predator defense, 1080 works by upsetting the krebs cycle, a vital process that cells must go through in order to gather energy.

Currently New Zealand uses over 80% of the 1080 produced in the world and its use has been a battleground between those who claim its the only viable tool to save our biodiversity and livestock and those who claim we are doing mass damage to our fragile ecosystem.

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One Response to What is 1080?

  1. Tom says:

    Compound 1080 does not occur naturally in plants. Other fluoroacetate salts do. Fluoroacetate is the toxic part of 1080. All living cells use the krebs cycle so all species including plants, animals and humans (for those who don’t realise we are animals) are affected adversely by even small amounts of 1080.
    1080 is biodegraded, but only in living cells. When the cell is killed, the process stops leaving fluroacetate and it’s metabolite fluorocitrate in the cell for the next victim.

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