Earl Baldwin of Bewdley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Approximately what proportion of current cancer research is targeted at the possible carcinogenic effects of chemicals in the environment; and of that proportion how much is privately and how much publicly funded. [HL2152]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville):
It is estimated that the total government spend in support of cancer research was over £53 million in 1997–98. This excludes support for basic research such as gene mutation and cellular biology which underpins studies addressing the cause, diagnosis, pathology and treatment of cancer.
Of this, it is estimated that over £785,000 was spent on projects focusing directly on the carcinogenic effects of chemicals in the environment. This excludes support for basic research on the human body's reaction to chemicals and other toxins in the environment and in food, and other related research—for example, on variation in sensitivity to chemicals among population subgroups and on geographical distribution of cancers. Further projects have been commissioned more recently, worth a total of £400,000.
The charity sector and industry are also major investors in cancer research. It is estimated that over £247 million was spent in 1997–98, but it is not possible to identify how much of this was spent on research targeted at the possible carcinogenic effects of chemicals in the environment.