04 August 1998
More human guinea-pigs for OP tests

MORE human guinea-pigs have been signed up in Scotland to take doses of an organophosphate (OP) insecticide.

They will be given azinphos-methyl to test their tolerance to the poison, according to The Guardian in its continuing investigation of the story.

The substance is known to be one of the worlds most dangerous pesticides. But The Guardian reports that four new pesticide tests on humans are to be conducted in the next two weeks at Inveresk Research, a company based near Heriot-Watt university, Edinburgh.

Azinophos-methyl is classified in the USA as toxicity class one. It is not licensed for agricultural use in the UK, the Ministry of Agricultures Pesticides Safety Directorate said.

Jeff Rooker, Agriculture minister, said the issue was important but he believed the tests broke no laws or guidelines. It was revealed that a US company had used the Medeval Laboratory in Manchester to test other pesticides on students when the story of the controversial testing last week.

  • The Guardian 04/08/98 page 4