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Volume 124: debated on Friday 11 December 1987

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he is taking measures to encourage research into alternative refrigerants; and if he will make a statement.

We are responsible only for those refrigerants that come into direct contact with food. I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to chlorofluorocarbons and the only member of that class used in direct contact with food is dichlorodifluoromethane (R12). It is used only for a very small amount of frozen foods and its use is decreasing since acceptable alternative direct contact refrigerant systems are available. Therefore, I see no need to embark on a programme of research to identify new agents.