HC Deb 10 December 1969 vol 793 cc418-9
14. Mr. Leslie Huckfield

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the decision of the United States Department of Agriculture about the use of D.D.T. as a pesticide, details of which have been sent to him, what action he proposes to take in this country about the use of this chemical.

3. Mr. Gardner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether, in view of the fact that the United States Government are proposing to ban the use of certain persistent insecticides, he will now take similar action.

Mr. Cledwyn Hughes

The Advisory Committee on Pesticides and Other Toxic Chemicals has now completed its further review, which includes D.D.T. I expect that its report will be published and that, with permission, I shall make a statement on 17th December.

Mr. Huckfield

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the sense of urgency he has imparted into this matter, but will he bear in mind that the United States Department of Agriculture has imparted into it even more sense of urgency, and that several States have already banned D.D.T.?

Mr. Hughes

I appreciate the point made by my hon. Friend, but he and the House will bear in mind that the Report which is referred to is one produced by British scientists, and it is a thorough and full report to which I have given the most careful attention. It is on the basis of what our own scientists report that I hope to make a statement next week.

Mr. Farr

As the United States Government have recently banned imports of French and other Continental cheeses because they contain this particular poison, can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he has examined French and other Continental cheese imported to this country for an excessive quantity of benzene hexachloride?

Mr. Hughes

This is a question on which the Food Additives and Contaminants Committee would report.