Rape beats pollen rap

August 22, 1997

OILSEED rape is no worse than other pollen plants for causing health problems, say environmental scientists.

The bright yellow crop, which has become popular with farmers, has been blamed for sparking particularly severe allergies through the release of pollen and chemicals, the pesticides associated with it and the fungus that grows on rape plants.

But researchers at the Institute for Environment and Health, based at Leicester University, say there is little evidence to support this.

In a report commissioned by the Home-Grown Cereals Authority and the Ministry of Health, Fisheries and Food, it found adverse health effects only among people who were already sensitive to other pollens. Linda Shuker, spokesman for the institute, said the issue needed further investigation.

*see research papers

Research papers relating to the stories on this page (where indicated) can be found through THESIS, The THES Internet Service at http://thesis.newsint.co.uk

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