THE PARLIAMENTARY All Party OP Group has called upon the government to ban organophosphate-based sheep dip products.

It also urged the government to instruct doctors around the country in how to deal with patients suffering from the effects of exposure to OPs.

The chairman of the group, Lib-Dem MP Paul Tyler, presented junior DEFRA minister Ben Bradshaw with a new report on Tues (Jan 25).

The report concludes the causal link between exposure to OPs and ill-health has now been sufficiently demonstrated for the government to start putting greater emphasis on helping the victims of OP poisoning.

“Sheep-dipping with OPs has effectively been compulsory in this country, and farmers are still being told to continue using them.

“We want to give a sense of urgency to the authorisation and use of effective alternatives to OP dips,” Mr Tyler stated.

He said he doubted that legal cases for compensation could be established.

Report author John Harvey said: “We know enough about these products to take them off the market.

“We can‘t expose human beings to the experiments that would be necessary for even more conclusive proof.”

“The government must now tell doctors what to do when dealing with people who have been exposed to OPs, and it is time for an epidemiological study to establish how many across the country who have been affected,” said Mr Harvey.