HL Deb 10 March 1986 vol 472 c498WA
Lord Mancroft

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there are plans to grow opium-producing poppies on a commercial scale for the first time this year in Britain and whether they are satisfied that there are sufficient safeguards to prevent the misuse of the opium thus produced.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Glenarthur)

Reports indicate that about 200 acres of poppies of the type papaver somniferum may be grown in the United Kingdom this year in commercial trials. It is understood that these poppies are of a strain which has little or no opiate alkaloid content, and the main purpose of the trials is to assess their potential value as a source of seed oil for use in food and other products. The Government are monitoring the situation carefully so as to ensure that there is no risk of any illicit production of controlled drugs from this source.