§ Mr. McGrady
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce legislation to control the presence of residues in animal carcases at the point of retail sale or at point of manufacture into meat products and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Viggers
[holding answer 25 July 1988]: United Kingdom-wide legislation introduced on 7 June 1988 provides a statutory framework for the monitoring and control of residues in animals and meat. The Animals and Fresh Meat (Examination for Residues) Regulations 1988 provide for mandatory sampling of animals and fresh 294W meat, the detention of suspect animals and the prevention of sale for human and, in some cases, animal consumption of contaminated farm animals or carcases. The Animals and Fresh Meat (Hormonal Substances) Regulations 1988 contain specific provisions in relation to the control of hormones. Legislation to provide controls on other substances will be introduced in accordance with EC requirements. These regulations provide a means of control at the farm and at the slaughterhouse and so prevent carcases with residues from entering the animal or human food chain. Controls on meat and meat products at the point of retail sale in Northern Ireland are imposed under the Food and Drugs Act (NI) 1958 which, inter alia, requires that food should be fit for human consumption and not rendered injurious to health and should be of the nature, substance and quality demanded by the consumer. Consultations have taken place about the introduction of maximum residue levels for certain pesticides in food, including meat and preparations of meat and regulations are in the process of being made.