HC Deb 02 November 1959 vol 612 cc659-60
31. Mr. Janner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the recent verdict of death by misadventure on a woman who died after drinking water contaminated by an arsenical potato spray mixture, what action he proposes to take with regard to the coroner's recommendation that these arsenical sprays should be prohibited.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. John Hare)

This matter has been urgently considered by the Advisory Committee on Poisonous Substances used in Agriculture and Food Storage, whose recommendations are now being discusssed with the agricultural and chemical industries. I hope to be in a position to make a statement shortly.

Mr. Janner

Whilst thanking the Minister for that reply and complimenting him on retaining his office, may I ask him whether he will take into consideration that there are substitutes of a much less dangerous nature which can be used in an effective way for this purpose and bring them to the notice of the Committee on this subject?

Mr. Hare

I will certainly see that those concerned are informed of what the hon. Gentleman has just said.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the right hon. Gentleman look into the whole question of the effect of spraying fruit and the troubles caused by arsenical indigestion and things of that kind, because this also applies to apples and a great many other fruits?

Mr. Hare

I have just said that I hope to be able to make a statement on the subject of this Question.