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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 24 May 1956

Vol. 157 No. 7

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Sale of Artificially Coloured Kippers.

asked the Minister for Health if he will make an Order prohibiting the sale and distribution throughout the Republic of Ireland of dyed or artificially coloured kippered herrings.

It is an offence under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, 1875-1936,

(a) to mix, colour, stain or powder any article of food intended for sale with any ingredient or material so as to render the article injurious to health; or

(b) to sell to the prejudice of the purchaser any article of food which is not of the nature, substance and quality of the article demanded.

It is also an offence under the Public Health (Saorstát Éireann) (Preservatives, etc., in Food) Regulations, 1928, to add certain specified colouring matters to food.

As these provisions appear to be adequate to deal with the matter referred to by the Deputy, I do not see that any action on my part is called for.

I originally addressed this question to the Department of Agriculture because the herrings referred to were imported herrings, which we are bound to import because of our trading arrangements with Great Britain. I understand, on reliable authority, that the herrings coming into this country are coloured and not smoked. My purpose in putting down this question is to find out if the responsible Minister can ensure that herrings coming in will be smoked and not coloured.

I fear the responsibility is not mine.

I would again ask the Minister, in view of my submission that the herrings are coloured and artificially dyed—and he can check that with An Bord Iascaigh Mhara— will he make the necessary regulation?