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Canned Vegetables (Research)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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asked the Lord President of the Council what is the latest advice of the Medical Research Council and the Department of Scientific and industrial Research on the danger of tinned vegetables; and whether he will make a statement on this matter.

I am advised that this is not a matter for research at the present time, the relevant facts being already well known. The risk is practically confined to foods preserved without due regard to the precautions officially recommended.

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the evidence given by a pathologist at a recent inquest that a statement had been made by the Ministry of Health that these vegetables might be terribly dangerous, and will he see to it that it is generally made known that that statement, if made, was not correct?

On the other hand, there was a statement which appeared in the Press of 17th July, issued on the authority of the Ministry of Health and stating that the risk with commercially canned vegetables is non-existent, as proper canning machinery and a sufficiently high steam pressure are employed to ensure complete sterility, but that there may be some slight risk with home bottled or canned vegetables.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the information given in his reply to the supplementary question will be very assuring to the general public?