HC Deb 15 May 1968 vol 764 cc1208-9
18. Mr. Kitson

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to eradicate the saw-toothed grain beetle; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Mackie

This pest is widespread in imported foods and homegrown grains. Its eradication is not commercially practicable, but every effort is being made by publicity, inspection and free advice to ensure that those concerned with storage, transport and processing of food and feedingstuffs know how to prevent and control the pest.

Mr. Kitson

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the saw-toothed grain beetle was not in this country five years ago—

Hon. Members


Mr. Kitson

Does he know where it came from? Would he not agree that this has created a serious problem for the malting industry over germination?

Mr. Mackie

Her Majesty's Government have been blamed for many things in the past three or four years, but this is a new one. I appreciate the difficulty and the danger of this pest, and considerable assistance can be given for fumigation and so on. Advice is available from the advisory services to those concerned to prevent and control the pest, although eradication is very difficult to carry out commercially.