FG BUY&SELL        FARMERS WEATHER       ARABLE FARMING        DAIRY FARMER      FARMERS GUARDIAN        AGRIMONEY        OUR EVENTS        MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS        BLOGS        MORE FROM US

You are viewing 1 of your 2 free articles

You’ll need to join us by becoming a member to gain more access.
Already a Member?

Login Join us now

MP calls for 'Hillsborough-style disclosure' of sheep dip poisoning facts

News
Andy Burnham calls for full disclosure of the facts related to organophosphates and their impact.
Twitter Facebook
The call has been welcomed by leading OP poisoning campaigners
The call has been welcomed by leading OP poisoning campaigners

Farmers who allegedly suffered as a result of organophosphate (OP) sheep dip poisoning are entitled to a ’Hillsborough-style disclosure’ of the truth, Labour MP Andy Burnham has said.

 

Mr Burnham, who led the fight to secure an official inquest into the 1989 football stadium disaster in which 96 Liverpool fans died, has now called for a proper inquiry into suspected cases of OP poisoning.

 

The call was welcomed by leading OP poisoning campaigners.

 

The move by Mr Burnham came after it emerged officials from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) warned, as far back as the early 1990s, that exposure to even low doses of OP could cause neurological damage and the advice and protective equipment provided by manufacturers was inadequate.

 

Speaking at the Guardian newspaper offices, the Shadow Health Secretary called the revelation ’explosive’.

 

"I am 100 per cent convinced this is a major scandal and people have suffered in silence and isolation. It shows the risks were known and yet mandatory dipping continued. There may have been a risk, but they didn’t act."

 

Mr Burnham said he would push for an inquiry when parliament returned next month.

 

"I want a Hillsborough-style disclosure of what was known, by whom and when," he added.

 

The evidence in question is a HSE document based on a survey of farmers and published in 1991 which states: "Repeated absorption of small doses have a cumulative effect and can result in progressive inhibition of nervous system cholinesterase."

 

It then goes onto to say: "If with all the resources available to them, a major chemical company proves unable to select appropriate protective equipment, what hope is there for an end-user?"

 

Despite these concerns the Farming Minister at the time, John Gummer, continued to demand local authorities act against farmers who refused to use the chemical, with compulsory dipping continuing until 1992.

 

The document was published after a Freedom of Information Request by the Sheep Dip Sufferers Support Group, set up by Warrington dairy farmer Tom Rigby.

 

He added: "OP sufferers have to pay for private treatment because they can not find treatment on the NHS for something which, in the eyes of many medical professionals, does not officially exist.

 

"Calls for an inquiry are a step in the right direction."

 


May 13, 2015: Farmers Guardian's Ben Briggs was on BBC Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine at 1pm today talking about alleged sheep dip poisoning of shepherds in the 1980s/90s. 

 

Listen on BBC iPlayer (available until June 12, 2015): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05tbd1h

Twitter Facebook
Rating (0 vote/s)
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.

More News

Police officer live tweets investigation as sheep injured and killed by Jack Russell dogs

A police officer has been praised by farmers after live tweeting a sheep attack investigation in North Wales.

Royal Highland Show: Latest machinery debuts

Visitors to this year’s Royal Highland Show were treated to some of the latest products from both Scottish manufacturers and further afield across the UK and Europe. Richard Bradley reports.

Your farm animal health plan - everything you need to know...

The NFU’s animal health and welfare adviser explains why health planning for your farm can be easier than you think.

'Headless chickens' - farmers angered by Defra’s response to bird flu outbreaks

Concerns have been raised about Defra’s response to the ongoing outbreaks of bird flu.

Junior heifers claim inter-breed victory at the Royal Highland

IT was an all-female affair in the beef inter-breed championship as two heifers were chosen to take the leading tickets.
FG Insight and FGInsight.com are trademarks of Briefing Media Ltd.
Farmers Guardian and FarmersGuardian.com are trademarks of Farmers Guardian Ltd, a subsidiary of Briefing Media Ltd.
All material published on FGInsight.com and FarmersGuardian.com is copyrighted © 2016 by Briefing Media Limited. All rights reserved.
RSS news feeds