The Advisory Committee on Poisonous Substances Used in Agriculture and Food Storage was established in 1954 as a result of recommendations made in the second report of the inter-departmental Working Party on Precautionary Measures against Toxic Chemicals used in Agriculture, Toxic Chemicals in Agriculture: Residues in Food, London, HMSO, 1953.
The purpose of the Advisory Committee was: To advise Departments on problems relating to the risks to the consumer arising from the use of toxic substances on agricultural products and in the storage of food. To guide Departments as to the scope of the initial investigations which should be undertaken by manufacturers and about the evidence which should accompany proposals to introduce new substances. To maintain close contact with such other official and unofficial agencies as may be concerned in different aspects of the problem, so as to be closely informed as possible about hazards. To advise Departments where necessary about the maximum permissible limits for residues arising from the use of toxic substances on agricultural products and in the storage of food.
The Committee, and the Working Party were chaired by Solly Zuckerman. He remained Chairman until 1960, although from 1958 on in title only. He had signalled his wish to resign in 1956 but a suitable replacement could not be found; by agreement R.J.E. Taylor, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food chaired meetings from 1958.