HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 c1299W
Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what tests are carried out and with what regularity for the accumulation of toxic chemicals in(a) fresh water fish, (b) saltwater fish and (c) shellfish landed in England. [153112]

Mr. Bradshaw

The Department does not carry out regular testing for the accumulation of toxic chemicals in landed fish and shellfish. However, the Food Standards Agency carries out periodic surveys of species of fish and shellfish used as food, taken from retail sources, markets or from producers. Analysis for contaminants such as organic chemicals and metals is undertaken as the need arises.

The Environment Agency and CEFAS1 carry out monitoring under the National Maritime Monitoring Programme (NMMP) of marine fish and shellfish for a number of hazardous substances. These include regular monitoring for lead, mercury, cadmium, organochlorines and pesticide residues, and special surveys on particular substances of concern where information is needed. In addition the Agency monitors shellfish waters and shellfish in accordance with the requirements of the Shellfish Waters Directive (79/923) for a similar range of hazardous substances, PCBs and faecal coliform levels. The Environment Agency does not routinely monitor freshwater fish for toxic chemicals but it does commission reports in response to identified areas of particular concern.

1Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

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