HC Deb 13 March 1958 vol 584 cc585-7
12. Mr. Grant-Ferris

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is aware of the fact that a leading official of the Milk Marketing Board has publicly advocated a lowering of the presumptive legal standard for solids other than fat in milk; and, in view of this, if he will make a statement of his policy in this regard.

Mr. John Hare

The presumptive legal standards for milk were enacted over 50 years ago and their suitability in present-clay conditions has recently been questioned. My right hon. Friends the Home Secretary, the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Minister of Health and I have decided therefore to appoint a Committee to examine the problem both from the standpoint of human nutrition and of animal husbandry. It is hoped to announce the terms of reference and the membership of the Committee shortly.

Mr. Grant-Ferris

While thanking my right hon. Friend for that Answer and assuring the House that the Question was in no way inspired, may I ask him if he would agree that the solid fat contents are as important as, if not more important than, butter fat, as they contain, amongst other things, those salts so important for the health of the general public, and children in particular?

Mr. Hare

I think my hon. Friend will realise that that is exactly the sort of problem this Committee will have to study.

Mr. Champion

Is the Minister really satisfied that a further Committee is necessary? After all, was there not a Working Party on quality milk production which reported in 1953? Is it a fact that many of the recommendations of that Committee have not yet been carried out?

Mr. Hare

I think the hon. Gentleman realises that there is a great deal of argument on all sides of this case, and I think that this Committee can do a useful job.