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Push For Answers Over Camelford Water Poisoning.

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3:16pm 21st May 2013
(Updated 3:16pm 21st May 2013)

The government says more research will be done on the Camelford water poisoning.

Cornish MPs have met ministers after a government report said it is unlikely to have caused long-term health effects.

20 tonnes of aluminium was dumped into the wrong tank at Lowermoor back in the eighties.

Peter Smith is Chairman of the Lowermoor Support Group. He said: "it is demeaning, it's angering, it's frustrating. It's the same old, same old song. They will not look at things; they stick their fingers in their ears. This is outrageous."

He claims the report was a whitewash and wants a full public inquiry: "There has been no true investigative zeal. There has been no zeal to actually find things out. it's been about dismissing stuff, or there isn't enough evidence blah blah blah. It's been a very frustrating ten years for us."

But North Cornwall's Dan Rogerson says he will still push for an inquiry: "They feel they weren't treated very well at the time, that the information of what was going on wasn't shared with them, that there should have been a more thorough investigation much closer to when this went. And they feel there has been a cover up.

Speaking after the meeting with Public Health Minister Anna Soubry, Mr Rogerson said:

"We had a helpful meeting with the Minister this morning. She is clear that the Department for Health will want to conduct further research into just how people have been affected, particularly young people and those who were babies in the womb at the time of the incident, as recommended by the Committee on Toxicology's report.

"I welcome this further medical investigation and will be continuing to monitor the situation closely to make sure that the sub-group's recommendations are acted upon. It is vital that we get to the bottom of any long-term impact on the health of people that could have been exposed to the contaminated water."

"The question of how the public authorities handled the incident at the time remains to be dealt with, and was not covered by April's report.  The Department for Health believes that the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is better placed to investigate how the incident was handled at the time.  I am clear that we need a proper programme of investigation about how the authorities at the time dealt with the poisoning and I am now pursuing this as a matter of priority with Environment ministers."

3:16pm 21st May 2013

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