§ Mr. Tope
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if any tests have been carried out on sea water, silt and sea-bed soil in the North-West following the latest incidents of methyl mercury poisoning;
(2) whether he has studied a recent report produced by the Lancashire and 656W Western Sea Fisheries Joint Committee on fish contamination off the North-West Coast caused by methyl mercury; and what action he proposes.
§ Mrs. Fenner
I have been asked to reply.
The Lancashire and Western Sea Fisheries Joint Committee has not produced a recent report on fish contamination of the North-West Coast. A statement was made by one of the members of the committee quoting figures taken from reports of the Working Party on the Monitoring of Foodstuffs for Mercury and Other Heavy Metals under the chairmanship of the Chief Scientific Adviser (Food) of my Department which were published in October 1971 and June 1973. My right hon. Friend announced the action the Government were taking on these reports at the time they were published. The routine surveillance then instituted is continuing.