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Volume 181: debated on Friday 30 November 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any information relating to the use of beta-agonists as growth promoters; and if he will make a statement.

Veterinary medicinal products cannot be placed on the market unless a product licence has been issued under the Medicines Act 1968. No such licences have been issued for the use of beta-agonists as growth promoters.In Great Britain, members of the state veterinary service carry out a regular programme of surveillance at slaughterhouses and on farms for veterinary residues in animal products, including tests for the beta-agonists clenbuterol and salbutamol. These employ extremely sensitive procedures to detect residues of beta-agonists. No evidence of abuse has been detected.We also have a monitoring programme on meat and offal for retail sale from all sources, as part of routine food

The information requested is shown in the surveillance. Under this programme we shall be testing residues of beta-agonists in imported meat to ensure that we guard against the alleged problems in other countries.