Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what information he has about the use of drugs in beef imports from the Republic of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the safety of imported beef from the Republic of Ireland.
§ Mr. Maclean
Beef from the Republic of Ireland is routinely monitored as part of the extensive programme of surveillance of veterinary drugs residues carried out by the Ministry. A total of 400 imported samples of beef muscle, liver and kidney were taken during 1990, of which about one fifth are estimated to have been from the Republic of Ireland. To date, within the hormone and beta-agonist groups, only one positive from Ireland has been found. This was for the hormone Zeranol, and did not pose a threat to human health. Full results of the Ministry's programme of veterinary drug surveillance for the years 1986–90 are to be published in a food surveillance paper which is now in preparation.