HC Deb 30 November 1998 vol 321 cc108-9W
Mr. Purchase

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce guidelines on the cultivation of oilseed rape in relation to its proximity to domestic dwellings. [61510]

Mr. Rooker

A report by the Institute for Environment and Health in 1997, based on the most recent scientific research, found that oilseed rape may cause respiratory problems in certain people who already suffer from other allergy and respiratory problems. Currently available data suggest that allergic responses to oilseed rape make very little contribution to the burden of allergy in the United Kingdom. On the basis of its size and very limited distribution into the air, oilseed rape pollen does not contribute greatly to the total amount of pollen present in the general environment at the time oilseed rape flowers. We are, however, considering areas for further research suggested by the report but at present have no plans to introduce guidelines on the cultivation of the crop.

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