Call to look at OPs role in BSE
THE government is facing further calls to investigate thoroughly the role of organophosphates (OPs) in the origin of the BSE epidemic.
Lib Dem MP Paul Tyler has written to farm minister Nick Brown urging him to review his priorities as he commissions further research into the origins of the disease, announced on the day of the BSE inquiry.
Mr Tyler, who is in the All Party OP Parliamentary Group, says much of the official BSE research programme has been "woefully off target".
In the letter, he wrote "it seems unlikely to the point of being incredible" that treating cattle in the 1970s and 1980s with OP Warble Fly Dressings had no impact on their susceptibility to BSE.
He points out that the Phillips Inquiry cites OPs as a possible factor in the spread of the disease and highlights ongoing research on the subject, led by Somerset dairy farmer Mark Purdey.
"It would be tragic and reprehensible if [BSE] turned out to be largely avoidable and the remedial action misdirected," he wrote.
"You and your ministerial colleagues have a current responsibility here." *