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Vegetables (Marketing)

Volume 415: debated on Monday 29 October 1945

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asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he has taken notice of the unsatisfactory conditions under which vegetables are marketed, and the loss sustained to producers thereby; if he proposes to initiate schemes for the better marketing of home-grown vegetables under the Agricultural Marketing Act or by any other means; and for the orderly importation of such vegetables as we cannot grow in sufficient quantities at home.

:I am aware that marketing conditions in the vegetable industry are capable of improvement, and discussions on this subject have already started between my Department and the National Farmers' Union. Insecticides


asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is satisfied that the indiscriminate use for agricultural purposes of D.D.T. and gam-mexane will have no deleterious effects; and whether his scientific advisers were fully consulted before control of production was removed.

I would refer the hon. Memberto the reply which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Ludlow (Lieut.-Colonel Corbett) on 22nd October.

:Is it not a fact that after the wholesale spraying of D.D.T. to kill mosquitos, only wind-pollinated plants survive, and that after a strip of orchard in Britain had been sprayed with gam-mexane no fruit was available at all? Therefore, is it not very important in the interests of this country's food production that this stuff should not be available until further inquiries have been carried out?

:My information is that there is no direct evidence that gam-mexane and products containing D.D.T. are likely to have harmful effects in this country. However, I can assure the hon. Gentleman that further research is being carried out and it is hoped to remove any danger which may now exist.

:The right hon. Gentleman says there is no direct evidence that it is harmful, but surely, before this stuff is made available, there should be direct evidence that it is not harmful?