§ 3. Mr. Driberg
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in view of the official publication by the United States Food and Drug Administration of a list of products which are useless or dangerous, a copy of which is in his possession, and since many of these products are sold in Great Britain, if he will now issue a similar list as a warning to the public; and if he will introduce legislation restraining manufacturers from marketing such products.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Security (Mr. Michael Alison)
Adequate powers to control the marketing of medicinal products already exist in the Medicines Act. I hope soon to receive the views of the Committee on Safety of Drugs on the list published by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
§ Mr. Driberg
But is the hon. Gentleman aware that that list has been available for some months, I think in his Department as well as elsewhere, and that it contains not only drugs which are harmful but drugs which are useless and cosmetics which are useless—things, like Colgate's toothpaste, which are widely 1144 sold in this country? Does he remember that the thalidomide tragedy did not occur in the United States because they take more care about these things?
§ Mr. Alison
The Committee on Safety of Drugs has so far identified 90 of the 369 products listed in the American list, not all of which, as far as we can see, are sold or retailed in this country. I hope that it will be in a position to make a recommendation to us by the end of May.