HC Deb 19 November 1959 vol 613 cc1332-3
34. Mr. Eden

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, as representing the Minister for Science, what research is currently being undertaken to study the cumulative effects on human, animal and plant life of the unrestricted use of chemicals in agriculture.

Mr. Godber

Three units of the Medical Research Council are engaged on research into the effects on human health, both acute and cumulative, of chemicals used in agriculture. Some of their findings have been published.

The effect on animals and plants is the subject of research at Agricultural Research Council stations, and research into the effect on wild life has been planned by the Nature Conservancy. These studies are closely inter-connected. Research is also carried out by the manufacturers.

Mr. Eden

Will my hon. Friend ask his noble Friend to support some of the private or hitherto privately-conducted researches into this question? One experiment I am thinking of in particular is the Haughley Research Project, which has been going on for ten years and is full of information, but is in danger of being lost sight of owing to lack of funds.

Mr. Godber

I shall call that to the attention of my noble Friend and I am sure he will give it consideration.

Sir G. Nicholson

Is my hon. Friend aware of the great concern among bee keepers in this country about destruction of bees and does he realise that this does damage not only to bee keepers but to the fertilisation of plants? If he likes, I will bring a deputation of angry bees to see him about it.

Mr. Godber

I shall be very happy to see my hon. Friend, but as to his constituents I shall have to consider that. I would remind him that we are hoping to discuss this matter tomorrow and we shall welcome his contribution to the debate.