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Toxic Chemicals In Agriculture

Volume 655: debated on Thursday 8 March 1962

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science, what arrangements are being made by the Research Councils to implement the recommendations of the Research Study Group on toxic chemicals in agriculture.

The Research Councils are concerned in general with those recommendations relating to fun damental research, rather than with those relating to surveys and inquiries, most of which will be the concern of the Agricultural Departments. The Research Councils propose to continue their already substantial research in the fields mentioned in the report and extend it, as far as resources permit, where fruitful results appear likely. The various tasks are shared between them in accordance with their normal interests. Thus, research into problems bearing on the toxicity of agricultural chemicals to human beings falls to the Medical Research Council.The Agricultural Research Council is responsible for basic research on chemical hazards concerning farm crops, animals and soils, while the Nature Conservancy is responsible for research relating to the effects of agricultural chemicals on wild life and the natural environment. Research into improved methods of analysing residues of toxic chemicals in foodstuffs and animal tissues is the responsibility of the Government Chemist in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, who will also assist the other bodies concerned.Certain of the problems are of concern to two or more Research Councils, and the Agricultural Research Council is setting up a scientific committee, under the chairmanship of Professor A. C. Frazer, to keep all relevant research under review and to report progress at suitable intervals.