HL Deb 06 June 1996 vol 572 cc142-3WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will give any details about the incident known as "Smarden poisoning" which occurred between June 1963 and March 1964 at the government factory manufacturing the pesticide fluoroacetamide; and

What research was conducted into the effects upon humans, domestic animals including farmyard animals, and wildlife of exposure to fluoroacetamide which occurred as a result of the Smarden poisoning incident, both at the time and subsequently; and

How many reports of death and ill health in domestic animals including farm animals were attributed to the Smarden poisoning incident, and what were the symptoms and post-mortem findings.

Lord Lucas

The Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) at Weybridge, now part of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency, assisted with the investigation into the Smarden poisoning incident. The outcome of the investigation was published in the Veterinary Record on 19th April, 1969 (copies to be placed in the Library of the House). Given the amount of time that has elapsed, the files on the incident no longer exist. The only other work of which CVL is aware was carried out on soil samples to decide when the land could be returned to normal agricultural use.