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Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the relationship of (a) the food advisory committee, (b) the veterinary products committee and (c) the advisory committee on pesticides to the committee on food safety.
Mr. Ryder : The committee under the chairmanship of Sir Mark Richmond has been given the remit of advising me and my right hon. Friends on the microbiological safety of food. This committee will make recommendations as it sees fit on what further measures may be necessary to deal with food poisoning. We expect it to complete its work by mid-1990. The other three committees are permanent advisory committees with different terms of reference. There is therefore no formal relationship between them and Sir Mark Richmond's committee although the secretaries of the various committees will ensure that there is systematic contact on all matters of mutual interest.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the
Column 301relationship of (a) the food advisory committee, (b) the veterinary products committee and (c) the advisory committee on pesticides to the steering group on food surveillance.
Mr. Ryder : The steering group on food surveillance (SGFS) is a Government advisory committee which monitors the nutritional value and safety of the United Kingdom food supply. Its primary function is to identify and evaluate potential problems and to propose practical solutions, and it carries this out via a system of 10 working parties covering all the major areas relevant to its work.
The food advisory committee (FAC) is an independent expert advisory committee which advises Ministers on the composition, labelling and advertising of food and on additives, contaminants and other substances that are, or may be, present in food or used in its preparation. The FAC is normally invited to comment on draft SGFS reports and may be asked to advise on any action required as a result of the findings of the SGFS.
The veterinary products committee (VPC), an independent committee of experts in both human and veterinary health established under section 4 of the Medicines Act 1968, advises the licensing authority on the licensing of veterinary medicines. The advisory committee on pesticides (ACP), which is also an independent statutory body, advises Ministers on approvals for pesticides.
The SGFS keeps in close touch with the FAC, VPC and ACP and also specifically monitors pesticide residues and veterinary residues in food via its working party on pesticide residues and its working party on veterinary residues in animal products.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the dates of meetings of the advisory committee on pesticides and the items discussed at each meeting over the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : The advisory committee on pesticides met eight times and discussed a number of applications for approval of new active ingredients, reviews of older pesticides and a wide variety of related questions. A report on its work in 1988 will be published later this year.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the dates of meetings of the veterinary products committee and the items discussed at each meeting over the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : In the last 12 months the veterinary products committee met on the following dates :
23 June 1988
20-21 July 1988
21-22 September 1988
20 October 1988
17 November 1988
14 December 1988
19 January 1989
15-16 February 1989
15-16 March 1989
19-20 April 1989
17-18 May 1989
A summary of the VPC's discussions is contained within the "Annual Report for the Medicines Commission and Section 4 Committees", copies of which are available in the Library of the House. The 1988 annual report is due to be published in the next few weeks and I shall ensure that a copy is made available in the Library.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list all the products for which product licences were (a) granted and (b) refused by the veterinary products committee in the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Product licences are granted by the licensing authority on the advice of the veterinary products committee. Details of all newly licensed products are published regularly in the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes. It would be a breach of the commercially confidential nature of the veterinary products committee's discussions to list those applications where the committee was minded to advise the licensing authority that a licence ought not be granted.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list (a) the members and (b) the observers of the United Kingdom delegation at the Codex Alimentarius meeting on food labelling in Ottawa in April 1989 and the organisations for whom they worked.
Mr. Ryder : The head of food standards division (Mr. C. A. Cockbill) and the head of nutrition branch (Dr. D. H. Buss) from my Department represented the United Kingdom at this year's meeting of the Codex committee on food labelling. There were no observers in the United Kingdom delegation.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list any publications of (a) the food advisory committee, (b) the veterinary products committee and (c) the advisory committee on pesticides that were produced in the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : There have been no publications from the food advisory committee in the last 12 months, but Ministers have made the following announcements as a result of advice received from the committee :
--use of the term low alcohol' in the labelling of alcoholic drinks (MAFF Press Release 358/88
--use of nutritional claims in food labelling and advertising (MAFF Press Release 253/88)
--a proposal to ban the use of Mineral Hydrocarbons in Food (MAFF Press Release 53/89)
--a proposal to ban the sale of certain pills intended as slimming aids (MAFF Press Release 388/88).
In addition, the committee's comments on the report of the working party on pesticide residues 1985-88, published on 13 March 1988 in the food surveillance series, were appended to that report. During this same period, the 1987 annual report of the veterinary products committee was published within the 1987 report of the Medicines Commission. In addition, the advisory committee on pesticides' annual report for 1986 and its report on aerial applications of pesticides in 1987 were published.
Ministers also announced the results of seven evaluations of new pesticides by the committee (press release 333/88) changes to, or revocation of, the approvals of four pesticides (press releases 312/88, 433/88, 450/88 and 204/88) and issued a paper reporting the results of
Column 303routine reviews of other, currently permitted pesticides (press release 117/89). Five other pesticide approvals have been included in the Department's pesticide register.
All the publications and press releases have been deposited in the Library of the House.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list all the pesticides for which approvals were (a) given and (b) rejected in the last 12 months ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : During 1988 my Department received 1,324 applications in relation to pesticide products and rejected 347 of them. In the same period we issued 1,371 approvals. These figures cover a variety of changes to existing products as well as new products. The latest annual listing of approved products is in "Pesticides 1989", which is available in the Library of the House.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give a hygiene report for each of the abattoirs in the United Kingdom which received suspensions of their export licences under the Fresh Meat (Hygiene and Inspections) Regulations in 1987.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Reports on individual premises must remain confidential to the operator of those premises, the Ministry and the local authority.
Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many people in his Department have been working, and how many man hours have been spent, on testing the pesticide Alar ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Ryder : As indicated in my reply to the hon. Member on 25 May at column 745, the review of the pesticide Alar was carried out by members of the advisory committee on pesticides. The detailed information available referred to in my response was assembled by
Column 304scientisits in pesticides safety division at Harpenden. In addition four scientists at the ADAS central science laboratory at Harpenden have spent some 750 man hours on work relating to residues of Alar including the establishment of a reliable method of detecting the small traces of residue that may be found in foodstuffs.
Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what guidelines he follows in determining which journalists are invited to press briefings by his Department.
Mr. Peter Walker : I follow no guidelines other than common sense considerations in determining which journalists are invited to press briefings by my Department ; these may suggest different journalists for different briefings according to specialist subjects and geography.
Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what each district council in Wales for the financial year 1989-90, without safety net, would have charged a household with two adults in 1989-90 ;
(2) what was the average domestic rate bill per household for the financial year 1989-90 for each district council in Wales ; (3) what, for each district council in Wales for the financial year 1989-90, the notional community charge per adult without safety net would have been if community charge had been in force in 1989-90 ; (4) what, for each district council in Wales for the financial year 1989-90, the notional community charge per adult, with safety net would have been if the community charge had been in force in 1989-90.
Mr. Grist : Illustrative figures, based on 1989-90 rate precepts and grant levels, are given in the table. Community charge figures have been calculated using present needs assessments which are under review. The average domestic rate bills given are on a basis consistent with the community charge figures.
|Total community charges |Average domestic rate |Community charge without|Community charge with |for a 2-adult household |bill per household |safety net |safety net |(without safety net) |£ |£ |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Alyn and Deeside |373 |429 |187 |216 Colwyn |383 |405 |192 |224 Delyn |391 |416 |196 |215 Glyndwr |386 |345 |193 |185 Rhyddlan |378 |399 |189 |201 Wrexham Maelor |382 |380 |191 |196 Carmarthen |336 |267 |168 |135 Ceredigion |319 |280 |160 |146 Dinfwr |310 |233 |155 |119 Llanelli |362 |284 |181 |150 Preseli Pembrokeshire |310 |255 |155 |136 South Pembrokeshire |318 |311 |159 |166 Blaenau Gwent |351 |235 |175 |124 Islwyn |332 |265 |166 |135 Monmouth |310 |388 |155 |187 Newport |331 |383 |165 |204 Torfaen |336 |325 |168 |168 Aberconwy |319 |364 |160 |193 Arfon |315 |254 |158 |145 Dwyfor |318 |282 |159 |182 Meirionnydd |366 |278 |183 |182 Ynys Mon |326 |324 |163 |178 Cynon Valley |319 |213 |160 |114 Merthyr Tydfil |352 |249 |176 |131 Ogwr |362 |334 |181 |162 Rhondda |351 |175 |176 |95 Rhymney Valley |367 |295 |183 |148 Taff Ely |336 |324 |168 |166 Brecknock |290 |274 |145 |143 Montgomeryshire |261 |263 |130 |142 Radnor |274 |254 |137 |144 Cardiff |273 |391 |136 |200 Vale of Glamorgan |294 |367 |147 |176 Port Talbot |406 |285 |203 |151 Lliw Valley |387 |283 |193 |147 Neath |411 |298 |206 |154 Swansea |414 |423 |207 |215 Wales |342 |328 |171 |171
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was raised by local authorities in rates in Wales in the last year for which figures are available.
Mr. Grist : The amount budgeted to be raised in rates in 1989-90 by the local authorities in Wales is £786.7 million.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many completion notices have been issued by each Welsh local authority in each of the past three years in respect of part-implemented planning consents ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Grist : Three completion notices have been issued by Welsh local authorities in the past three years ; by Delyn borough council and Port Talbot borough council in 1988 and Carmarthen district council in 1989. The Port Talbot and Carmarthen notices were confirmed by the Secretary of State and the Delyn one rejected.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will give the figures for (a) all unemployed and (b) youth unemployment (16 to 24) for the Pembroke constituency in January 1987, January 1988, January 1989 and at the latest available date both in number and percentage terms.
Mr. Peter Walker : The number of unemployed claimants in the Pembroke constituency is as follows :
|January 1987 |January 1988 |January<2> 1989|April<2> 1989 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All unemployed claimants |7,381 |6,232 |4,899 |4,088 Youth unemployed<1> |2,337 |1,966 |1,416 |1,153 <1> Unemployed claimants aged up to and including 24 years. <2> These figures have been affected by the new benefit regulations for under 18 year olds introduced in September 1988.
Unemployment rates are not calculated for parliamentary constituencies.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those applications made to him in the current year by water authorities for the lowering of effluent standards.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what applications have been made by the Welsh water authority for approval of relaxations and amendments to existing consent standards for the discharge of effluent from sewage treatment works ; and if he will list the relaxations and amendments requested.
Mr. Grist : The information is given in the table. I have received applications from Welsh Water for variations of existing discharge consents, which will reflect the current performance of individual works in respect of the following sewage treatment works.
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