HC Deb 15 November 1965 vol 720 cc26-7W
Mr. John Page

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in view of the potential danger due to cumulative residues of chlorinated-hydrocarbon and organo-phosphorous insecticides and herbicides, what action is being undertaken to protect the public by eliminating all such residues from foodstuffs; and taking into account the success of some of the American programmes of biological insect control, what measures are in hand in this country to develop this alternative to the widespread use of the highly toxic chemicals.

Mr. Hoy

The Pesticides Safety Precautions Scheme protects the public from harmful residues of persistent organochlorine and organophosphorus pesticides in food. Under this Scheme, when Government Departments agree to manufacturers marketing a new chemical or to a new use of an existing chemical, they require safety precautions to be set out on the label. These precautions specify, in cases where such specification is necessary in order to protect consumers from harmful residues, the maximum rate and frequency of application of the pesticide and the minimum interval which should elapse between the last application of the pesticide and the harvesting of the treated crop or consumption of the stored foodstuffs.

Research relating to the biological control of insect pests is being undertaken at a number of research institutions and universities in this country, including East Mailing Research Station, the Glasshouse Crops Research Institute, the National Vegetable Research Station, the Pest Infestation Laboratory, the Agricultural Research Council Units of Insect Physiology and Virus Research, Cambridge, and the Universities of Aberdeen, Leeds, Bristol, Nottingham, Oxford, London (Imperial College) and Wales (Cardiff). Work in this field is also being undertaken by the Forestry Commission and the National Agricultural Advisory Service.