HC Deb 25 June 1908 vol 191 cc92-3
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether a considerable portion of the condensed skim milk which is unfitted for the feeding of infants comes from Holland and Belgium; whether he can say what proportion of the 907,983 cwts imported, according to the Returns, in 1906 carne from these countries respectively; whether he is aware that it was established by the evidence given before the Butter Committee that in these countries a widespread system of scientific adulteration of butter and other dairy produce intended for exportation was carried on; and whether any steps are being taken, or will be taken, by the Board to inspect and analyse at the ports of entry or other places samples of this condensed milk.


I am aware that a considerable portion of the condensed skimmed milk imported into this country comes from the Netherlands. Not much appears to come from Belgium. The quantity of condensed milk imported in 1906 from the Netherlands was 638,004 cwts., and from Belgium, 46,371 cwts. These quantities, like the 907,983 cwts. mentioned in the Question, comprise every class of imported condensed milk, and not merely condensed milk which is separated or skimmed. I am not aware that there is a widespread system of scientific adulteration in Holland and Belgium as respects condensed skimmed milk. The article itself is very cheap. Samples are taken at the ports by the Customs officers, with a view to preventing condensed skimmed milk from being introduced without being properly labelled, and the Local Government Board have lately prepared Regulations under the Public Health (Regulations as to Food) Act of last session, which, have already been issued in draft, and which provide for unsound food of all kinds being examined and dealt with, at the port of entry.


I have given the President of the Local Government Board a large amount of information on this. Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a large proportion of this condensed skimmed milk contains anything from 30 to 37 per cent, of beet sugar for the purpose of preservation and that such, an amount is deleterious to human health—particularly in the case of invalids and children?


I am aware it is deleterious for infants, and probably a case may be made out for issuing a regulation calling public attention to the fact.