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Volume 131: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1988

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps the Government have taken and propose to take to prevent the import of peanuts containing aflatoxin.

[holding answer 12 April 1988]: Imports of peanuts for human consumption are subject to the Importation of Food Regulations 1984 under which it is an offence to import food which is unsound or unwholesome or otherwise unfit for human consumption. Supplementing this general provision, a voluntary agreement with the trade aims to ensure that the level of aflatoxin in imported peanuts is no greater than 0·03 mg/kg. However, following a recommendation of the Food Advisory Committee I intend to consult the interests concerned in the near future on the introduction of a statutory limit of 0·01 mg/kg on aflatoxin in nuts and nut products for sale for human consumption.Under the Feedingstuffs Regulations 1988, peanuts for use in animal feedingstuffs may not be imported if the level of aflatoxin B

1 , exceeds 0·05 mg/kg.