HC Deb 26 July 1990 vol 177 cc596-7W
Sir Hector Monro

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take steps to prevent in the future the sale of untreated or unpasteurised milk in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Rifkind

The present restrictions in Scotland on the retail sale of raw milk for human consumption have, since their introduction in 1983, been fully justified by the dramatic decline in the incidence of reported milk-borne infections.

Proposals have recently been received from the EC Commission aimed at generally improving the health rules and standards for the production and marketing of raw milk across the Community. They seek to establish microbiological and antibiotic residue levels, but, as presently drafted, would not of themselves outlaw the sale of raw milk that met the prescribed standards.

These proposals, which, if adopted, would not come into force until 1993, are presently the subject of public consultation, but our aim in any discussions on them will be to maintain the high public health standard of milk which we have achieved.