§ Mr. Molloy
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he intends to take in view of the fact that the effect of the EEC Commission proposals for the exclusive use of 19W dairy fats in certain food products will be to prohibit completely the sale of the most widely consumed type of ice cream in the United Kingdom, with consequent effects on the price of ice cream products as well as the reduction of the number of people employed in the industry; and if he will make a statement;
§ Sir George Young
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) what is likely to be the impact on employment in ice cream manufacturing and distribution of the EEC Commission's proposals for the exclusive use of dairy fat in certain food products;
(2) what is likely to be the impact on ice cream prices of the EEC Commission's proposals for the exclusive use of dairy fat in certain food products;
(3) what action he proposes to take in view of the fact that a major effect of the EEC Commission's proposals for the exclusive use of dairy fat in certain food products will be to prohibit the sale of 90 per cent. of the ice cream currently manufactured in the United Kingdom;
(4) if, at the forthcoming meeting of the Council of Agricultural Ministers, he will ensure that the approach suggested by the Commission for dealing with the exclusive use of milk fat and protein will not adversely affect the manufacture of non-dairy ice cream in the United Kingdom;
(5) if he will propose to his fellow agricultural Ministers that the implementation of the Commission's proposals on the exclusive use of milk fat and milk protein be deferred until 1987;
(6) if he will propose to his fellow agricultural Ministers that discussion of the Commission's proposals on the exclusive use of milk fat and milk protein be adjourned until this matter has been debated in Parliament.
(7) if he will inform his fellow agricultural Ministers at their forthcoming meeting of the health risks involved in compelling consumers to buy animal fat ice cream instead of the vegetable-based product.
§ Mr. John Silkin
The effects of the Commission's draft regulation cannot be fully evaluated until the proposals have been clarified in Brussels. Manufacturers of ice cream and other foods affected and consumers' organisations are provid-20W ing my Department with information and views on the Commission proposals. The Community agriculture proposals, of which this proposal forms part, will be debated in the House on 16th March.
I intend to meet representatives of the food industry including the ice-cream manufacturers on 18th March to discuss the draft regulations with them. I will ensure that issues raised in the hon. Members' Questions are taken fully into account.