§ Mr. Home Robertson
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the take-up of radioactive contamination from rainwater into agricultural and horticultural crops.
§ Mrs. Fenner
My Department has been monitoring the levels of radioactivity in crops since 4 May. These take account of the uptake of radionuclides through all pathways including surface deposition by rainwater. The maximum levels so far found have only been a small percentage of the level above which any action would need to be considered for crops, but monitoring will continue for as long as necessary.
§ Mr. Frank Cook
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now advise people against the drinking of milk direct from farms in areas where high concentrations of radioactivity have been detected; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Fenner
Levels of radioactivity in milk are well below that at which any action would need to be considered. Latest results of milk sampling show that levels of iodine-131, which was initially the most370W significant radionuclide, are continuing to fall. Radiocaesium, which is longer-lived, is now becoming relatively more significant. This means that the most significant radionuclide is now radiocaesium but levels of this are also well below the action level and have now stabilised and are showing indications of falling.