HC Deb 15 May 1968 vol 764 cc1214-5
29. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what expert representations he has now received in regard to the need to print the specific name and the amount of artificial sweeteners on food labels; and if he will make a statement.

39. Mr. Hunt

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will now introduce regulations to require that, in the labelling of products containing cyclamates, the specific name of the sweetener shall appear on the product.

Mr. Hoy

My Department has received no further expert representations since the Labelling of Food Regulations, 1967, were made, and I have nothing to add to my Answer given to the hon. Member for Westmorland (Mr. Jopling) on 23rd October last.—[Vol. 751, c. 383–4.]

Mrs. Butler

Can my hon. Friend give a categoric assurance that his expert advisers are satisfied that it will be possible to measure the amount of cyclamates taken in with food without this kind of information on the label?

Mr. Hoy

As my hon. Friend knows, we have to depend on our advisers who are specialists in these matters. Their opinion was embodied in the 1967 legislation, and I see no good reason to depart from it.

Mr. Hunt

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that there are still many people who, rightly or wrongly, regard cyclamates as a potential danger to health? Surely people who feel this way are entitled to be told when any product contains this specific type of sweetener? Why cannot this be required to be done?

Mr. Hoy

Those who advise us on these matters said that if we put on "artificial sweetener" this would convey the necessary information to those people. There are many who will argue, and certainly some gave evidence to this effect, that if this is clearly stated on the label, it is more readily understood by the purchasing public.