§ Mr. Coombs
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the actions taken by his Department since the publication of the COMA report designed to assist in the prevention of coronary heart disease.
§ Mr. Donald Thompson
Proposals for regulations to require labelling of the fat content in food have been circulated widely and comments on these are being assessed. Consideration is also being given to the publicity material necessary to assist consumers to make use of the information that will be provided on food labels. We have also had discussions with catering interests to see what can be done to provide consumers with information on meals served in catering establishments comparable with that which the regulations will require for other foods.
Changes have been made this year in the application of certification standards for sheepmeat, from 6 January, and for beef, from 12 May. These have excluded the fatter animals from qualification for premia.
We have negotiated agreement in Brussels for alcoholic drinks throughout the European Community to be marked with their alcoholic strength.
We also take COMA recommendations into account along with other considerations in formulating our position on common agricultural policy discussions. The Ministry publication "The Manual of Nutrition" which is widely used for home economics courses has also been revised to take account of the COMA advice. We are involved in monitoring changes in foods and in peoples diets, with a view to assessing the effects on public health.