HC Deb 11 May 1971 vol 817 cc191-2
20. Mr. David Clark

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what investigations his Department has undertaken into the nature and extent of contamination of vegetables grown in the proximity of main roads.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Joint investigations by the Ministry and the Agricultural Research Council over the period 1963–69 showed little or no risk of contamination of vegetables unless these were grown very close to busy roads, and then only surface contamination was found.

Mr. Clark

Is the Minister aware that a senior official of the Department of Health recently told the Royal Society of Health's conference at Eastbourne that there was the likelihood of contamination by lead of vegetables grown alongside main roads? Has the Minister any advice to give to housewives and market gardeners who might be using these vegetables?

Mr. Stodart

The Macaulay Research Institute did some research on this subject between 1963 and 1969. Some outer leaves of vegetables were very slightly contaminated within 50 yards of busy main roads, but not to anything like the extent which is considered dangerous under the Food and Drugs Acts.

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