HC Deb 18 November 1957 vol 578 cc2-3W
Mr. P. Wells

asked the Minister of Agriculture. Fisheries and Food the results of his experiments into the effect on pigs fed on feedingstuffs to which hormones have been added; and if he is satisfied that no harmful results will follow the consumption of pork or bacon from such animals.

Mr. Amory

I am informed by the Agricultural Research Council that experiments were arranged by it at a number of centres in 1953 to test claims that the addition to the diet of pigs of a combination of stilboestrol and thyroxine would improve growth rate. The results were discouraging. So far as the Council is aware no experiments involving the addition of hormones to the diet of pigs are being undertaken in this country.

There is no evidence that any harmful effects would be caused to consumers of pork or bacon from pigs which have received small amounts of such hormones in their diet.

The effects of treating beef cattle and sheep with synthetic hormones (stilboestrol and hexoestrol) have been and are being studied in experiments at several centres in this country, but the Agricultural Research Council is not yet in a position to make a statement about the results of these studies.