22 March 1996

SCRI asthma survey

AGROCHEMICALS used on oilseed rape are unlikely to have caused asthmatic conditions in humans, according to the findings of a three-year survey by the Scottish Crop Research Institute.

Replying to a written question from MP Andrew Welsh (SNP, Angus East), Scottish Office minister Raymond Robertson said the study had concluded that the most likely causes of allergic response appeared to be volatile organic compounds.

Mr Robertson said the £235,000 study concluded that some people reacted to pollen and fungal spores but not in the numbers indicated by the percentage of study populations expressing symptoms. "Most of them showed no correlation with pollen or fungal exposure," he insisted.

The government has provided a further £63,000 for research at Aberdeen University. &#42