HC Deb 10 July 1958 vol 591 cc576-7
48. Mr. Peyton

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take to ensure that the public is safeguarded against possible deception caused by the sale of milk substitutes consisting of the non-fat solids of milk and fat other than milk fat.

Mr. John Hare

My right hon. Friends the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland and I are well aware of this problem. We are circulating to the interests concerned proposals for regulations controlling the description, labelling and advertising of such products, and beverages made from them.

Mr. Peyton

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that encouraging reply, may I ask if he does not think that the increasing use of milk substitutes would constitute a very serious threat to the dairy industry? Does he not think that to apply the names "milk" and "cream" to some of these substitutes is an outrageous and, indeed, offensive breach of the inalienable copyright of the cow?

Mr. Hare

I have considerable sympathy with what my hon. Friend has said, and I can assure him that I am as anxious as he is that the industry shall be properly protected. I think that if milk substitutes are plainly labelled the public should not be misled into believing that they are real milk.

Dr. Summerskill

What is the penalty for non-observance of these regulations?

Mr. Hare

These regulations have not yet come into effect. They are merely in draft, and I shall be able to give more details about them later.