§ Mr. Lomas
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will introduce legislation to ensure that specific names of food additives are shown on all food labels, that food, vacuum-packed, such as bacon, carries a final date of 241W consumption, and that on cans of fruit, vegetables, &c., the drained weight is given.
§ Mr. Anthony Stodart
No. My right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services have power under the Food and Drugs Act, 1955 to make regulations as to the labelling of food.
The Labelling of Food Regulations 1970 will require the labels on most prepacked foods to list their ingredients and many food additives will have to be declared by their specific names. We are satisfied, however, that it would not be in the interests of consumers to make this a general rule. We agree with the Food Standards Committee's view that for many additives the generic term conveys more meaning to the consumer than the chemical name.
As regards date marking of vacuum packed foods, I have nothing to add to my Answer on 21st July to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester Mrs. Oppenheim). The Weights and Measures Act, 1963 would enable my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade to require the marking of drained weights on canned foods, but neither he nor my right hon. Friend consider that such a requirement would be justified at present.—[Vol. 804, c. 63.]