12 September 1997
OP group presses to meet MPs

By Tony McDougal
CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the abolition of organophosporous sheep dips have called for a meeting with senior politicians across five government departments.

The OP Information Network claims the effects of OPs on human health have been widely documented proving damage to exposed farmers.

OPIN chairwoman, Elizabeth Sigmund, said she and consultants would like to meet politicians from the departments of health, environment, trade and industry and ministries of agriculture and defence.

“The reason for such a meeting is that concerns relating to the widespread use, licensing, monitoring, disposal of residues and medical handling of these substances come under these differing ministerial responsibilities,” Mrs Sigmund said.

Although OP campaigners and scientists met farm minister Jack Cunningham and junior farm minister Jeff Rooker at the end of July, Mrs Sigmund said there had been little progress over the summer recess.

The call for an interdepartmental meeting follows a decision by the legal aid board last week to grant Gulf War veterans a £400,000 package to enable medical tests for poisons, including OPs, to be carried out by scientists at laboratories in London, Glasgow, Nottingham and North Carolina in the US.

For the full story see page 14 of this weeks Farmers Weekly, September 12 – September 18.