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Departmental Forensic Science

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department operates an in-house forensic science laboratory. (283572)

The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), an executive agency of DEFRA, currently undertakes a wide range of forensic-style analyses to detect, identify and measure DNA, veterinary drugs and pesticide residues in samples from plants and animals. Most of this work is done as part of national surveillance programmes or scientific research.

FERA is exploring new ways of exploiting its extensive testing facilities and capability in a wider range of applications, including forensics, but at present it is not providing a commercial service in this field.