HC Deb 08 August 1889 vol 339 cc766-7

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been called to a recent publication by the Agricultural Department (No. 24, of 1889), in which quotations are made from the Official Report of the Agricultural Department of the United-States to the following effect— That the total Annual Exports of Lard from the United States are about 320,000,000 lbs., of which about 10 per cent are "Compound or Refined" lard; that no less than. 93,000,000 lbs. were sent in 1888 from the United States to this Country; that amongst the adulterants used in compound or refined lard, 'dead hog grease, or dead hog stearine is one of the most frequently mentioned;' that 'the term dead hog grease is used to indicate the oil or lard obtained from animals which die of disease, or are smothered in transportation or die on the way to the slaughterhouses.' Whether, in view of these alarming official statements, and the possible danger to health from the consumption of an article of food thus adulterated, Her Majesty's Government will consider the propriety of prohibiting the introduction of the spurious substance designated "Compound or Refined Lard;" and, whether, in the event of the importation of artificial lard being still permitted, he will direct that (following the analogy of the entry of margarine) a separate entry shall be made in the Monthly Returns of the Board of Trade distinguishing genuine lard from the artificial compound?


Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to prohibit all adulterations of lard, as it would require a large and expensive staff to test all imports, and there is no evidence that the bulk of such lard is other than harmless. Whilst agreeing with the accuracy of the statements quoted by the hon. Baronet, I think a closer perusal of the Report shows that the ingredients of these compounds are not so deleterious as is supposed, consisting in great measure of cotton seed oil. I learn from the Customs that they are prepared, on obtaining the sanction of the Treasury, to assign a separate heading for lardine in the import accounts of next year.