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Food (Dyes)

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 30 April 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make it his policy that no dyes be added to food intended for children aged one to three years; what steps he has taken to ensure that food manufacturers do not add dyes in such food; and what penalties are involved in the event of dyes being added.

I have already circulated proposals to amend the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations 1973 so as to provide inter alia that:

"No food specially prepared for babies and young children shall have in it or on it any added colouring matter other than any of the following added permitted colouring matters:
Riboflavin or Lactoflavin E 101
beta Carotene E160(a)."
The proposals do not define "young children" so as to avoid limiting the extent of the. prohibition.The riboflavins and beta-Carotene would be permitted because they are valuable vitamins or vitamin sources which also have colouring characteristics.Persons contravening the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations are liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £2,000.