§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will seek a report on the relationship between the incidence of birth defects and the transmission of viruses carried by sea water contaminated with sewage effluent; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sackville
There are no known links between viral infections of any type, including viruses transmitted through sea water, and limb reduction deformities at birth. There are therefore no plans to commission a study along the lines suggested.
With regard to investigations into reports of unusual occurrences of babies born with limb defects, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) on 1 March at column 678.