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Bovine Somatotropin

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether milk collected from cows injected with bovine somatotropin is still on sale to the public; and if he will make a statement.

Yes. The Veterinary Products Committee has confirmed its advice that there is no risk to consumers.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement on the animal welfare implications of bovine somatotropin.

We attach great importance to animal safety and welfare and I know that the Veterinary Products Committee is examining in detail the short and long-term welfare implications of BST with the help of data from the current field trials.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research has been undertaken to establish differences in molecular structure between naturally occurring and genetically engineered bovine somatotropin; and if he will make a statement.

Among the data required from companies in support of their applications for ATCs and PLs are the results of their research to establish the molecular structure of their BST material and an account of any differences from natural versions of BST.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will outline the Department's policy in respect of bovine somatotropin.

The Department's policy has not changed: no licence for any BST product shall be issued until an applicant company satisfies independent experts that it meets stringent criteria of safety, quality and efficacy as required by the Medicines Act.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a further statement on the residue levels in milk from cows injected with bovine somatotropin.

The Veterinary Products Committee has concluded that BST levels in milk from cows injected with BST fall within the normal range of variability.