HL Deb 09 July 1990 vol 521 cc105-6WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the use of carcass waste, including that from scrapie infected sheep, in feed for: (a) cattle, (b) pigs, (c) poultry and (d) other animals was, at the time it was introduced, approved for these purposes by the scientific advisers to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; whether the evidence on which they based their advice had been at the time, or has since been, published in professional journals "that their peers can check" (as now recommended by the Minister in relation to the BSE debate); and if not, will they now see to the publication of that evidence and also of the advice and evidence that they are receiving on the desirability of this material being present in unmarked foodstuffs.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Trumpington)

Processed animal material has been used in animal feed for very many years throughout the world. World wide research has been conducted, and the results published, on the nutritional value of meat and bone meal in animal feedstuffs. Any risks that such practices present arise not from the nature of the protein itself but from the possible recycling of animal pathogens. That is why the Government have legislated to control the processing of material into animal protein and why, when ruminant protein was found to be the likely cause of BSE, its use in ruminant feedstuffs was banned. The Feedingstuffs Regulations 1988, as amended, and the Agriculture Act 1970, require that all animal feeds be labelled with detailed nutritional information. A recently agreed EC Directive will also require specific information on the contents of animal feeds. Customers can request this information from their suppliers at present.