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Peanuts

Volume 131: debated on Friday 15 April 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what evidence he has of fatalities caused to the British wild bird population by aflatoxin poisoning; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 12 April 1988]: I am informed by the Government's advisers on nature conservation matters, the Nature Conservancy Council, that there is no evidence of fatalities caused to the British wild bird population by aflatoxin poisoning.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will take steps to ensure that aflatoxin-poisoned peanuts are not sold for use as wild bird food; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 12 April 1988]: Controls which exist for levels of contaminants in feeding-stuffs for domesticated animals and birds do not cover materials fed to wild birds. However, officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food have been in contact with the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA) on this matter. The PFMA has recommended all its member companies not to use these peanuts—or any other material similarly contaminated—for feeding to wild birds or for any other purpose.