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Brucellosis

Volume 655: debated on Monday 12 March 1962

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14 and 15.

asked the Minister of Health (1) how many cases of brucellosis occurred during the last convenient period of twelve months; and

(2) what steps he is taking to safeguard the public against the danger of contracting brucellosis as a result of drinking milk which has not been heat-treated.

One hundred and one cases were reported in England and Wales in 1961. Medical officers of health have full powers to control the sale for human consumption of milk infected, or suspected of being infected, with this disease.

In view of the number of milk-vending machines and advertisements advising people to drink another pint of milk a day, will my hon. Friend take steps to make it quite clear to the public that tuberculin-tested raw milk is not completely safe and that it is not necessarily free from the brucella germ? Will she substitute an advertisement saying, "Better not drink a pint of milk a day unless it has been heat-treated"?

That is not a matter for me. However, 94 per cent. of the milk in this country is heat-treated.