HC Deb 20 November 1986 vol 105 cc348-50W
Mr. Tony Banks

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what measures he is taking to monitor the impact in the North sea of the toxic chemical spillage from the Sandoz factory in Switzerland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer

[pursuant to his reply, 18 November 1986, c. 95]: My scientists have been in regular contact with their counterparts in the Netherlands responsible for the surveillance of the Rhine estuary and its adjacent coastal waters. In view of the natural dilution and breakdown of the toxic chemicals which has already taken place, arid the direction of the prevailing water flows along the continental coast, it seems unlikely that there will be any significant impact on the marine environment of the North sea as a whole or on its fisheries. In addition to their normal monitoring activities, my scientists will, however, maintain close contact with their colleagues elsewhere in Europe who are more directly concerned with the impact of the incident.