HC Deb 18 June 1997 vol 296 cc220-1W
Mr. Baker

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what tests his Department has authorised to determine the percentage of milk on sale which contains measurable quantities of(a) medicines, (b) illegal antibiotics and (c) hormones; and if he will make a statement. [3413]

Mr. Rooker

The Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995, as amended, require manufacturers to carry out checks to ensure that dairy products do not contain residues of substances having pharmacological or hormonal action, antibiotics or other substances, which are harmful to human health, or might be harmful if those residues exceeded permitted tolerance limits laid down in legislation.

Local authority environmental health officers are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Regulations; this may include sampling and analysis. Enforcement action is taken where appropriate.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate tests whole milk collected at the retail point of sale under their non-statutory surveillance scheme. They look for residues of a number of antibiotics and also substances prohibited under EU legislation. In 1996 they completed 1,434 analyses and, consistent with the experience of previous years, found no detectable residues.