HC Deb 19 November 1962 vol 667 c810
25. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he will make a statement on the present use of toxic chemicals in agriculture and food storage; and what sums were provided by his Department for research on these matters in each of the last three financial years.

Mr. Soames

The general position on the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture and food storage in this country is described in the Report issued a year ago of the Sanders Research Study Group. As I announced at the time, the Government accepted the Committee's recommendations for further research and is carrying them out through the various research councils and other competent bodies. These are the bodies mainly responsible for research. So far as my Department is concerned, additional surveys of food for possible chemical residues and other investigations are being considered. I regret that separate details of the cost are not available.

Mr. Hayman

Will the Minister bear in mind that the Report to which he has referred said that more fundamental research should be undertaken? In view of the serious effects of these toxic chemicals, both to wild life and in food storage, will the Minister thoroughly pursue the matter?

Mr. Soames

Yes Sir. The Agricultural Research Council has set up a scientific committee under the chairmanship of Professor Frazer with just that object in view, to watch over the whole field.