HC Deb 23 June 1958 vol 590 cc14-5
26. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Health if he will specify in detail the measures taken by him to ensure that food imported into Britain from foreign countries is free from substances poisonous or otherwise dangerous to human beings.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Derek Walker-Smith)

Imported food is liable to be examined and sampled by port health and other local authorities, who have powers to deal with food found to be unfit for human consumption or to contravene specific requirements in regulations. If precautionary measures in exporting countries are considered necessary representations are made to the appropriate authorities.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that the Government have recently given permission for the export into Britain of large quantities of Japanese salmon? Will he state what tests are applied to ensure that fish caught in the Pacific, where bomb tests take place, are free from radio-activity of a dangerous character when they reach this country?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The hon. and learned Gentleman has on another occasion already had an answer regarding Japanese salmon. If he requires another answer specifically on that particular commodity, perhaps he would be good enough to put down a Question.

Dr. Summerskill

Is the Minister aware that certain distinguished research workers are of opinion that certain tinned foods contained carcinogenic properties and will he make a statement on the whole subject?

Mr. Walker-Smith

If the right hon. Lady wants a considered statement upon tinned food in relation to its possible carcinogenic qualities, I suggest that she put down a Question.