HC Deb 09 December 2002 vol 396 cc23-4W
Mr. Greg Knight

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information her Department has collated about the level of toxins found in farmed salmon; what assessment she has made of the risk to human health; and if she will make a statement. [84187]

Ms Blears

I have been asked to reply.

I am advised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the Government have been monitoring and releasing information on chemicals in food, including farmed salmon, for over 10 years. Information on fish, including farmed salmon, has been published in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food's Food Surveillance Paper No. 31, and Food Surveillance Information Sheets Nos. 71, 89, 105, 145, 184 and 191. The most recent information has been published by the FSA in its Food Survey Information Sheets Nos. 4/00, and 5/00, and the FSA Press Release of 10 May which issued precautionary advice for certain population groups on eating shark, swordfish and marlin. Copies of all these papers will be placed in the Library. The FSA is also aware of a range of published studies that have been carried out both in the United Kingdom and abroad.

1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03
Maintenance 1,800,000 1,951,000 911,000 900,000 1,300,000
Maintenance plus salaries, support and marketing 2,204,000 2,223,000 1,176,000 1,170,000 1,580,000

a) There are no specific restoration costs per kilometre available.

b) The average maintenance costs per kilometre of each National Trail are as follows, although again there are major variations in the work needed:

Maintenance materials only plus salaries and overheads etc
Pennine Way 383 641
Cleveland Way 310 606
Offa's Dyke Path 88 143
South Downs Way 396 741
South West Coast Path 516 719
Ridgeway/Thames Path 110 536
North. Downs Way 153 368
Wolds Way 191 346
Peddar's Way/Norfolk Coast Path 288 450
Average 271 505
In the case of Offa's Dyke Path the figures are for the English element of the Trail and the rest of the funding comes from Countryside Council for Wales. Thames

The FSA advises that consumers should eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily, as part of a healthy, balanced diet. The FSA has however been asked about the risks and benefits of eating larger amounts of fish, including oily fish such as salmon, and currently is seeking advice on this from its independent experts.