§ Mrs. Peacock
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about Her Majesty's Government's policy on the use of growth-boosting drugs in the British meat industry.
§ Mr. Evennett
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he intends to limit the use of hormones and steroids as growth boosting drugs in animals which are reared for meat production; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Fenner
The use of all hormones and hormonal substances as growth promoters in farm animals, with the exception of five specified substances, has been prohibited in the European Community since 1982. All growth promotion products containing permitted hormones, or hormonal substances, must be licensed under the Medicines Act 1968. Licences under the Act are granted only after a thorough evaluation of data establishing the safety, quality and efficacy of the product to be licensed, including the safety of consumers of produce from treated animals. I believe that Medicines Act controls and legislation covering the sale of food provide the consumer with adequate protection from harmful residues in meat.
The European Commission has recently published new proposals which would further limit the number of hormones available for use as growth promoters in farm animals. Representative organisations, including consumers' organisations, are currently being consulted about these proposals.