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BBC Scotland's Eric Crockart reports
"Brian Anderson will petition MSPs on behalf of sufferers"
 real 28k

Monday, 24 April, 2000, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Sheep dip 'poisoning' plea
Sheep dip time
Farmers complained of neurological problems
A group of Scots who believe they have been poisoned by their exposure to sheep dip are to ask the Scottish Parliament for help.

They allege that organophosphates in sheep dip have caused their mental and physical problems and that not enough is being done about their plight.

Group leader Brian Anderson will present a petition to the parliament calling for an investigation into their claims of a lack of National Health Service help. They also want better training and guidance for GPs.


Brian Anderson
Brian Anderson: "Left in limbo"
OPIN - the Organophosphate Information Network - represents around 100 people in Scotland who are reported to be suffering chronic effects from exposure to organophosphates or OPs.

They say nothing has been done about a 1998 Royal Colleges report which called for diagnosis and treatment centres for sufferers.

Mr Anderson said: "Sufferers feel they are bring treated with contempt by the authorities.

"They have been poisoned through contact with a product that has been licensed by the authorities and yet the authorities are doing nothing to help them.

"They are being left in limbo."

Organophosphates are the same compounds which are believed to have caused Gulf War Syndrome.

Chronic fatigue

Although the chemicals are no longer used in sheep dip, many farmers blame exposure to them for chronic fatigue, neurological disorders and depression.

It was revealed in 1997 that 60 sheep dippers in the Western Isles were suffering from the chronic fatigue syndrome ME - four times the national average.

The chemicals are also believed to have played a part in Paisley South MP Gordon McMaster's suicide.

The former horticultural worker said he suffered severe depression after using organophosphates in garden pesticides.

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See also:

28 Apr 99 | UK Politics
Boost for Gulf War Syndrome research
27 Jul 99 | UK Politics
MPs urge 'danger' chemical ban
16 Sep 99 | Medical notes
Pesticides
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