3 July 1998

Moratorium call from OP group

WHILE farm minister, Jack Cunningham, has pledged to subject evidence on the possible health effects of organophosphates to rigorous scrutiny, the all-Party group on OPs has said the government should stick to its promise to impose a moratorium on the chemicals.

Speaking after the publication of the interdepartmental report on OPs, Dr Cunningham insisted that government was not complacent about continuing concerns over the use of the products.

He said the report was the most thorough review of all issues relevant to the safety and control of the compounds ever carried out by the government.

But chairman of the all party OP group, Lib-Dem MP Paul Tyler, said the government had gone back on a pre-election pledge to impose a moratorium on OP sales while their safety was assessed.

He said environment minister Michael Meacher had "apparently been browbeaten by lawyers and the fat cats of the agri-chemical multinationals" into shelving the pledged ban. &#42