§ Mrs. Ray Michie
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy not to invoke the protection of the Official Secrets Act in relation to information supplied to his Department by chemical companies in connection with tests on pesticides and other hazardous substances; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
It is the Government's policy to make as much information as possible about pesticides and other substances available to the public. We use a variety of means including the reports of the expert, independent committees which advise Ministers on the safety of such substances. These are supplemented by arrangements for public access to summary evaluations and full study reports of pesticides, under certain safeguards. For food additives reports list references for published data. For unpublished data, arrangements have been made since the beginning of this year for them to be lodged with the British Library for public reference.