§ 25. Mr. Lipton
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as representing the Minister for Science, what research is being conducted into the carcinogenous effects of using stilboestrol in the production of broiler chickens.
§ Mr. Hare
Under certain laboratory conditions, large doses of oestrogens have been found to have carcinogenic properties in laboratory animals. I am advised that stilboestrol is very little used in this country for the production of broiler chickens. Even when it is used, the amounts that remain in the edible parts are very small by comparison with the amounts involved in these laboratory experiments. The Agricultural Research Council is, however, reviewing the possible hazards associated with the use of these substances in agriculture.
§ Mr. Lipton
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that this chemical is known to produce cancer in animals and that its long-term effects on humans should be the subject of a much wider and more careful research than is apparently going on at the moment? Does not the whole subject of the chemical treatment of food call for much wider research?
§ Dr. Stross
Has the right hon. Gentleman consulted his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary about this substance? Is he aware that the Home Secretary makes use of this substance and that it is allowed to be given in appreciable doses to people who are imprisoned and whose sexual desire has proved a menace to society generally? Might he not get some information which would be useful to him if he spoke to his right hon. Friend?