Wholemeal Bread

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th July 1959.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton 12:00 am, 20th July 1959

asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to public anxiety arising from recent scientific pronouncements on the amount of strontium in wholemeal bread; and if he will make a statement to remove public misconceptions as to the continuing value of this bread.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

There is no ground for anxiety. The Report on Strontium 90 in the Human Diet in 1958 by the Agricultural Research Council mentions that the effect of substituting wholemeal bread for white bread in an otherwise average diet would be to raise the ratio of Strontium 90 to calcium in the total diet approximately from 6 to 9 strontium units. I am advised that this higher figure would be a long way from giving grounds for concern about human health.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton

May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether he feels that the statement which has appeared in the Press has given rise to some misconception, and what steps he has taken to remove this very absurd misconception of harm which may be done to those who consume this kind of bread?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

I think that the Question which the hon. Gentleman has asked and the Answer which I have given should go a long way towards correcting any misapprehension which may exist.