E Testing Kits Remain Legal in UK
In Government Questions in the House of Commons on Monday 8 June, the Home Office Minister with responsibility for drugs - George Howarth - stated that while kits testing for the presence of ecstasy are of doubtful value, the government does not intend to introduce specific controls on the supply of the kits.
This follows doubts about the future availability of 'home' ecstasy testing kits after comments made on May 27 1998 by the governmenrts 'drug tzar' - Keith Hellawell - on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. He claimed that the kits were 'immoral' and said that he intended to ask the government to look into how the kits came to be licenced for sale in this country. His comments, which were made during a debate with Dylan Trump of EZ Test, were reported in all the broadsheet newspapers, along with the Mail and the Express, the following day.
Hellawell stated that the kits were "just a money-making venture on the back of the trend in young people taking drugs". The Green Party Drugs Group, who first marketed the kit in the UK, point out that all their profits are put back into their drug education work.
Both EZ Test and the Green Party Drugs Group have seen a steep rise in demand for the kits since Hellawell's remarks.