§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
On what grounds they have decided, in context of EC Directive 85/374 on defective products, that a "state of the art" defence will apply in this country when a person suffers damage or injury from using a product which has been marketed, presumably for profit and presumably after insufficient testing; and what other EC countries allow such a defence.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Industry (Lord Lucas of Chilworth)
The Government believe that the "state of the art" or "development risks" defence should be retained in the implementing legislation as the absence of the defence could raise insurance costs significantly and inhibit innovation, especially in high risk industries. Many useful new products, which might entail a development risk, would not be put on the market, and consumers as well as business would lose out. No EC member state has yet implemented the directive.