HC Deb 25 January 1954 vol 522 cc1457-8
49. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware that a meringue powder, details of which have been sent to him, is offered for sale to the public which, when analysed, has been found to be composed of methyl cellulose; and whether he will issue a regulation forbidding the manufacture and sale of a worthless commodity

Dr. Hill

No, Sir. Methyl cellulose may not be nourishing, but it is harmless and, like other harmless if not nourishing substances, is useful in preparing attractive food.

Dr. Stross

Does the Parliamentary Secretary really mean to say that there is no nutritional value or nourishment in it? If he agrees, as I believe he does, that there is no nutrition in it, why should the public be encouraged to eat stuff that does not do them any good and which has no influence on their bodily metabolism? Would it not be just the same if he were to chew the Order Paper and swallow it?

Dr. Hill

Heaven help us if we were to rely only on the nutritionally strong in order to provide our food.