Animal Diets (Non-nutritive Substances)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1964.

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Photo of Miss Joan Quennell Miss Joan Quennell , Petersfield 12:00 am, 27th April 1964

asked the Minister of Health what investigations his Department have made into the possible effects of the various non-nutritive substances introduced into the diets of animals upon the consumer.

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

None, Sir, but my right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food are advised on these matters by expert committees.

Photo of Miss Joan Quennell Miss Joan Quennell , Petersfield

I thank my hon. Friend for the facility of his Reply but will he bear in mind that his Department could helpfully advise the Minister of Agriculture that many of the substances in use, such as pesticides, for instance, have, after a lapse of time, had unforeseen side-effects which had they been anticipated would have saved much distress?

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

This may be the case, but non-nutritive substances such as my hon. Friend has in mind are liable to be considered under the Veterinary Products Safety Precautions Scheme. This is a matter which is under constant scrutiny.

Photo of Sir Barnett Stross Sir Barnett Stross , Stoke-on-Trent Central

Has the hon. Gentleman noted the fact that the Minister of Agriculture tends to be on the defensive on this matter when he is questioned in the way in which the hon. Lady the Member for Petersfield (Miss Quennell) has questioned the hon. Gentleman? But the Minister of Agriculture is concerned with cattle and agricultural substances while the Minister of Health has a duty to look after human beings. Will the hon. Gentleman, therefore, accept the implication in the hon. Lady's Question and see that his right hon. Friend makes an investigation into what is happening to us?

Photo of Bernard Braine Bernard Braine , Essex South East

I hold no brief for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture—[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."]—in this context. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Health receives advice from the appropriate body and I assure the hon. Gentleman that he looks at it very closely.