§ Mr. Dormand
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she has now studied the statement made by Dr. G. W. Lynch, head of the social nutrition research unit at Queen Elizabeth College, London University, which is in her possession, that the proportion of primary school children deficient in calcium will rise to 34 per cent., and of those lacking riboflavin to 39 per cent., as a result of the withdrawal of free milk; and if she will now call, as a matter of urgency, a conference of nutritional experts to consider the advisability of implementing Government policy in this matter.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
I am aware of statements about the possible effects of withdrawing school milk by Dr. Lynch in his interim analysis of the findings of a survey announced at a Press conference in September, 1970, and since repeated in articles by him in the Press. As I have said on other occasions, no proper evaluation of this survey is possible before publication of a full analysis of the main findings and much greater detail of methodology. When the report is published, it will be referred to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy (C.O.M.A.) for a full and objective assessment.
As I explained during the Second Reading debate on the Education (Milk) Bill, steps are being taken with advice from C.O.M.A., whose members are leading nutrition experts, to monitor the effects, if any, of the changed arrangements for milk and meals. The answer to the last part of the Question is therefore "No".