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Foodstuffs (Toxic Chemicals)

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 28 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what tests are applied to ascertain residue levels of toxic chemicals in imported foodstuffs from (a) eastern Europe, (b) the European Common Market and (c) the rest of the world; how many tests were carried out in each of the past five years and on what types of foods; and what changes he intends to make in this system.

Imported foodstuffs are examined for a wide range of potentially toxic substances such as heavy metals, natural toxins and environmental contaminants. Information on the surveillance of food imports is included in reports of the Government's steering group on food surveillance, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. District and islands councils in Scotland undertake testing of imported food as enforcement authorities but related statistics are not held centrally.