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Parkinson's Disease

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research her Department has commissioned into possible links between Parkinson’s disease and use of pesticides. (81122)

The independent advisory committee on pesticides (ACP) provides authoritative advice to Government on all aspects of pesticides. At its meeting in November 2004, the ACP considered a report produced by its medical and toxicology panel on the possible links between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease. At that meeting, the committee concluded that although this review indicated a correlation between recalled pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease it did not point to a particular toxic mechanism or a hazard from a specific compound or group of compounds.

However, the committee did advise that further mechanistic and epidemiological research be carried out on the association between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease. The tender process has been organised by the pesticides safety directorate and has now finished. Two research proposals have now been funded by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, one is an epidemiology study, the other a mechanistic study.

The issue was briefly discussed at the ACP meeting of 27 June 2006 and a full evaluation is expected soon. A new study by the Harvard School of Public Health has recently been widely reported in the press and ACP shall review this as soon as it becomes available.