HC Deb 14 February 1966 vol 724 cc902-3
8. Mr. Francis Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Health what action he proposes to take in respect of the advertising and sale of caffeine tablets, details of which have been sent to him by the hon. Member for Swindon, in view of the possibility of the public being misled and of the health hazard involved in heavy dosage.

Mr. Loughlin

The power to institute proceedings in respect of misleading drug advertisements rests with the local food and drugs authorities under the Food and Drugs Act, 1955, and not with my right hon. Friend. I am advised that caffeine in tablets, though more concentrated, is pharmacologically no more active than in tea or coffee. Heavy dosage causes unpleasant effects which would discourage abuse.

Mr. Noel-Baker

I understand my hon. Friend to say that this medicine is both ineffective and potentially dangerous. Is he aware that it is also expensive and that the advertisements are quite abominable? Will he do something to stir up the local authorities to prosecute these unscrupulous manufacturers?

Mr. Loughlin

I would not like my hon. Friend to put words into my mouth. It is not quite as straightforward a matter as he suggests, but we are looking into the problem.

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