HC Deb 08 February 1972 vol 830 c1122
13. Mr. R. C. Mitchell

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what consultations he intends to have with the margarine manufacturers and the National Dairy Council concerning the use of linoleic acid in the production of margarine.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

None. Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fatty acid naturally present in most foods. Vegetable oils used in the production of margarine are rich in this substance. It is essential to the diet of infants and almost certainly adults as well.

Mr. Mitchell

Is the Minister aware that margarine manufacturers claim that this substance is an aid to health, whereas the National Dairy Council tends to argue that it is a health hazard? Who is right?

Mr. Stodart

There is no proof that it either prevents or causes heart disease. Claims are made by people in support of their own products. I do not think that it is for us to try to conciliate them.