Pesticide expert calls for research into BSE links

ONE OF Britain's leading experts on pesticides yesterday called for more research into possible links between cows that succumb to BSE and those exposed to organo-phosphate pesticides, writes Susan Watts.

Alastair Hay, senior lecturer in chemical pathology at Leeds University, said: 'I don't disbelieve that he (Mr Purdey) is seeing some improvement in his animals, but I don't know what's going on because we have too little sound evidence. His is an interesting hypothesis, but it's very early to say exactly what we are seeing.

'People who know more about BSE than I do think it (the epidemiological data) should be there for debate, and that somebody should comment on it.'

A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday that although the Government did not correlate areas where cows are exposed to organo-phosphate pesticides and those where BSE incidence is high, it was possible for the two sets of published data to be pulled together.