HC Deb 22 November 1979 vol 974 cc277-8W
Mr. Hardy

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is satisfied that the current use of 2,4,5-T is harmless.

Mr. Wiggin

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to my hon. Friend, the Member for Melton (Mr. Latham) on 15 November.—[Vol. 973, c.706].

Mr. Wigley

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement concerning the use of the chemical 2,4,5-T as a weed killer, and, in particular, its possible use by the Forestry Commission in catchment areas of water used for human and animal consumption.

Mr. Wiggin

The advice of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides is that the herbicide 2,4,5-T can safety be used in the recommended way and for the recommended purposes; and the Government accept this advice. In all pesticide spraying operations it is the Forestry Commission's practice to observe the recommended precautions designed to ensure that no harm comes either to humans—whether as operators, consumers or members of the public—to domestic and farm animals, or—so far as possible—to wild life and the environment generally. Further, the Commission consults the responsible water authority before spraying 2,4,5-T in any surface water catchment area. There have been many scientific studies concerned with the examination of the 2,4,5-T content of streams originating from sprayed areas; for example, work in the United States of America led to the conclusion that, if normal care was taken during spraying, 2,4,5-T could be safely used on catchments serving public water supplies. I am sending the hon. Member an official publication in which these studies are reported.