HC Deb 06 March 1997 vol 291 c707W
Mr. Alfred Morris

To ask the Prime Minister from what date information was available to any Government Department about the dangers to health from the use of organophosphates; what action was then taken to ensure that all Departments considering their use were made conversant with the dangers; and if he will make a statement. [18824]

The Prime Minister

Organophosphates were first investigated for use as insecticides in the 1930s in Germany. Since then, information on the health effects of OPs has accumulated over time. Much of the information is in peer-reviewed scientific journals, books or World Health Organisation publications and is therefore available to all Government Departments as well as to the general public.

Government Departments receive advice and information on a regular and on-going basis about OPs and their possible effects on human health from a number of sources both external and internal. OP compounds have been reviewed on many occasions, including the independent expert committees which advise the Government on pesticides and veterinary products. They have not recommended a ban or suspension of the use of this class of compounds.