asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) whether he has any plans to phase out or further reduce the production levels of green top milk;(2) why licences for the production and sale of green top milk have been reduced in duration.
Regulations amending the Milk (Special Designation) Regulations 1977 were laid down before Parliament on 9 April. Their purpose is to prohibit the sale of untreated milk through shops, schools, hotels and other catering establishments in England and Wales with effect from 1 November 1985. This policy was announced by my predecessor in 1980, but could not be implemented until now because of the 5 year validity of untreated milk licences.
I have no plans at present to introduce further restrictions, but policy on untreated milk will be kept under review taking account of public health considerations, of the need to preserve consumer choice and of the interests of producers. It is clearly desirable that if changes are considered necessary on health grounds they should be introduced rather more quickly than was possible in 1980: on the other hand, I recognise that producers and distributors need to be able to plan ahead. The fact that untreated milk licences to be issued from 1 November 1985 will be valid for three years rather than for five is intended to strike a reasonable balance between these two considerations.