'IT COULD BE YOU MINISTER' - THAT GETS SICK FROM BATHING AT A GOVERNMENT PASSED

BEACH OF THE FUTURE!

Yes that's right - it could be Water Minister Elliot Morley himself that gets

sick from bathing at a government passed beach if Environment Ministers agree

to implement proposed new laws from the European Commission on bathing water

quality.

Meeting in Brussels earlier this week, the UK government together with other

Member States played down World Health Organisation (WHO) science that reveals

the lower of the proposed new water quality standards as still presenting a

1 in 20 chance of bathers contracting gastro-intestinal illness from bathing

on a government passed beach!

The UK's scepticism has led Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to today launch an

'It Could Be You Minister' postcard campaign.

The UK delegation meeting in Brussels believed that UK public health records

would show higher levels of gastro-intestinal illness if people were suffering

from this illness having spent time in the water. But it's important to recognise

that many people will not visit the doctor for this type of illness. Plus GP's

often fail to ask those who do visit the doctor whether they have been in the

water, tending to put the blame on something that has been eaten or a stomach

bug.

SAS have a huge medical database highlighting infections and illnesses water

users have contracted from using UK bathing waters all year round. It is therefore

disappointing to see the government react in this way and 'rubbish' the proposed

standard which SAS believe is not high enough to fully protect the health of

the UK's bathers and water users.

Vicky Garner, Campaigns Director at SAS says: "The UK Environment Ministry

have failed to represent the UK water user at the first Environment Council

meeting of the Greek Presidency. The focus should be on how best to protect

the water user and by rubbishing even the lowest of the proposed new water quality

standards, the government are in danger of falling far short of doing that".

SAS have asked for an urgent meeting with Water Minister Elliot Morley to outline

the ways in which better protection can be given to the water user.