§ Mr. Forman
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has reconsidered the decision to wind up the Poisons Board; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitelaw
The justifiction for proposing nearly three years ago to abolish the board by 1984 was an expected decline in the scope of the poisons law which would follow the implementation in due course of certain EC directives relating to dangerous substances. Following an interdepartmental review, which has taken account of the progress made with these directives, I have concluded that in the interests of public safety the present controls on the supply and retail sale of poisons—particularly the more dangerous such as strychnine—which will not be affected by these directives, should be retained. Expert advice will therefore continue to be needed on poisons and I have concluded that it would be appropriate to retain the Poisons Board at this time, as the most appropriate forum for obtaining this advice.