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Agricultural Chemical Residues

Volume 592: debated on Thursday 30 July 1998

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What research they are undertaking on the build-up in the human body of residues of agricultural chemicals in food and the effect of a cocktail of such residues. [HL2914]

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
(Lord Donoughue)

The Working Party on Pesticide Residues carries out surveillance for pesticide residues, including regular surveys of residues present in the human body. The working party's most recent published report, for 1996, includes the results of a survey of human fat. The 1997 annual report, which is to be published in September 1998, will include the results of a survey of human milk.Any residues detected in such surveys are usually of organochlorine pesticides, most of which are no longer approved in the UK but which can persist in fatty tissues. The results have shown a continuing trend of reduction in residues over the last 35 years.Currently we are not undertaking any research into the effects of multiple residues of agricultural chemicals in the human body.