asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what research is being carried out by her Department relating to the erucic acid level of rapeseed and its effect on the human body; and if she will make a statement.
My Department has not commissioned any experimental research relating to erucic acid from rapeseed oil and its possible effect on the human body because the evidence available is not sufficiently clear to indicate the most valuable areas for further exploration. Furthermore, in the United Kingdom very little rapeseed oil is used in food manufacturing. Nevertheless, my Department's medical advisers keep a continuous watch on the situation and assess all the results of research work done in other parts of the world. So far, they have not seen any evidence that erucic acid from rapeseed oil is a hazard to health.