HC Deb 15 December 1960 vol 632 cc587-8
30. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he proposes to take to restrict the making of extravagant claims of weight-reducing and energy-giving properties by the advertisers of certain brands of bread and bread substitutes, in view of the criticism and recommendations published by the Food Standards Committee in its Report on Bread and Flour.

35. Mr. Darling

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he proposes to take on the recommendations of the Food Standards Committee with regard to the ingredients of bread, advertising descriptions, and claims of bread manufacturers.

52. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether in view of the recent recommendations of the Food Standards Committee on speciality breads for which claims are made that they are protein enriched, or starch reduced, or described as slimming bread, he will make regulations forbidding the advertising of claims of this nature.

Mr. Soames

The interests concerned have been given until 17th February, 1961, to make representations about the Report on Bread and Flour. I shall give full consideration to any representations received before deciding whether to implement the Committee's recommendations.

Mr. Noel-Baker

The Minister will be aware of what one can only describe as lying propaganda by the manufacturers of these products. This was brought to the attention of the House a long time ago. When the right hon. Gentleman refers to "the interests concerned" does he mean the manufacturers, advertising agents and other advertising bodies? Can he give an assurance that, if their representations do not satisfy him that the Committee has made a mistake, he will take drastic action?

Mr. Soames

Representations are open to a very wide range of interests. The House will understand that I must leave myself free to consider them before I make a statement.

Mr. Manuel

The right hon. Gentleman has the evidence.

Mr. Lipton

Will the Minister make it clear that members of the general public are also permitted to make representations to him before 17th February on the contents and recommendations of this Report?

Mr. Soames

The recommendations are coming primarily from organised bodies.

Dr. Stross

Does not the Minister consider that misrepresentation of fact of this kind is grossly unfair to the public? Does he think it is enough merely that representations should be made? Why should he not help actively in the matter?

Mr. Soames

I will. I have received the Report and it has been published. I have given until 17th February for representations to be made, and I will then make up my mind on the matter and make a statement.

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