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Mr. Gummer : I understand that the specific problem which the United States authorities have sought to address this year, under their Marine Mammal Protection Act, is the very large number of small cetaceans which may be caught in the Pacific purse-seine fisheries for yellow-fin tuna. There is no comparable situation within United Kingdom waters and therefore we have no plans to introduce similar measures. Our own legislation already
Column 691seeks to protect cetaceans by prohibiting their deliberate taking within our 200-mile limit and the import or sale of cetacean products in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what studies are (a) being conducted and (b) planned by his Department into the likely effects of the greenhouse global warming effect on farming and agriculture in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Thomas : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, during the meeting of the Council of European Agriculture Ministers in Brussels on 21 November, he put forward any policies aimed at modification of agricultural practices to mitigate the greenhouse effect, that is global warming.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps he is taking to obtain agreement with the United Kingdom's European partners for the extension of the £27 beef premium to include heifers and to apply to herds in excess of 90 head.
Mr. Gummer : I see no prospect of being able to negotiate the inclusion of heifers in the beef special premium scheme. The United Kingdom voted against the imposition of a headage limit and I continue to regard it as discriminatory.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what provision he makes for the inspection of live animal exports to ensure the provisions of the Transit of Animals (General) Order 1973 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911 are met.
Mr. Maclean : Veterinary inspections and supervised loadings of every consignment of farm animals exported for further fattening or slaughter are made in accordance with the Export of Animals (Protection) Order 1981. Under this order the state veterinary service (SVS) also oversees transport arrangements for breeding farm livestock where advice and guidance may be necessary. Enforcement of the 1973 order is primarily a matter for local authorities, but the SVS provides assistance and advice where necessary.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he has refused to grant licences for independent scientific tests under proper veterinary supervision to be carried out on flocks found to be infected with salmonella typhimurium and enteritidis.
Column 692flock owner. Decisions to require the slaughter of infected flocks are however based on the results of laboratory examinations carried out by my Department.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether broiler flocks affected by salmonella typhimurium and enteritidis can complete their growing cycle and be processed in the normal way to end up as raw meat in kitchens ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : There is no requirement for broiler birds to be tested for salmonella. Broiler breeder flocks are however required to be tested and, if found to be infected with salmonella enteritidis or salmonella typhimurium, will be slaughtered in order to minimise the risk of infection spreading through the production chain. Advice to consumers has been given on the precautions which should be taken in handling and cooking poultry meat.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many eggs were imported into the United Kingdom during the month of November ; of these how many were (a) tested for salmonella, (b) condemned for salmonella contamination or (c) condemned for other reasons.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 4 December, what directions he has given for the disposal of carcases of birds slaughtered under the Zoonoses Order 1988.
Mr. Maclean : The veterinary products committee has yet to submit its recommendations on any of the BST products for which licence applications have been made. I understand that in accordance with the Medicines Act the committee is still reviewing a range of matters with the help of data being generated in field trials.
Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how much compensation has been paid to Our Lady of Passion monastery at Daventry ; and if he will estimate the costs incurred by the monastery arising from the slaughter of 5,000 birds.
Mr. Maclean : Details of the amount of compensation paid for slaughtered poultry, in accordance with the provisions of the Animal Health Act 1981, are a matter between the flock owner and my Department. I am not in a position to estimate the costs incurred by Our Lady of Passion monastery.
Mr. Colvin : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will ban the importation of plants from Holland in order to control the spread of Liriomyza huidobrensis among plants ; (2) what compensation is proposed for those growers compelled to destroy crops infested with Liriomyza huidobrensis ;
Column 694(3) what has been the incidence of Liriomyza huidobrensis infestation in plants over the last 10 years ; and what steps he is taking to counter the problem.
Mr. Maclean : So far this year there have been 27 confirmed findings of the South American leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis. There were no findings in previous years. The Ministry is maintaining a policy of eradication of this pest to ensure that it does not become established in this country. As regards compensation and controls on the importation of plants from the Netherlands. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 6 December at column 248.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department has sponsored within the last 12 months to assess the safety of microwaves in respect of food cooked therein ; what research is either in progress or planned ; and if he will make a statement.
Title |Contractor |Status ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. The performance of Microwave Ovens for Cooking and Reheating Foods. |Mr. M. Duncan|Completed 2. Microwave Reheating of Ready Meals |IFR-Bristol |Completed 3. Destruction of Listeria monocytogenes during Microwave Cooking. |IFR-Norwich |Completed 4. Effect of Microwave Cooking on Survival of Listeria monocytogenes in Cook-Chill Retail Products. |CFDRA |Completed 5. Testing the Uniformity and Reproducibility of Reheating in Domestic Microwave Oven. |IFR-Bristol |Completed 6. The Influence of the Physical, and Electrical Properties on the Quality of Foods Heated by |CFDRA |On-going Microwaves.
The position is still being evaluated and further research will be commissioned as necessary.
Mr. Maclean : My officials are holding urgent discussions with the Institution of Environmental Health Officers to establish how far this practice creates a problem, and with a view to taking whatever steps may be necessary to make sure that caterers have the right equipment to avoid any risk to food safety.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what has become of the microwave ovens donated by manufacturers to facilitate the study recently completed by his Department.
Mr. Maclean : The microwave ovens do not belong to my Department as they were made available to the researchers by the manufacturers. Their fate is a matter for discussion between the manufacturers and the researchers at Bristol.
Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the annual tonnage of bananas imported into the United Kingdom as a percentage of the European Community total in each of the last five years.
United Kingdom imports of bananas as a percentage of total European Community imports |per cent. ------------------------------ <1>1984 |16.7 <1>1985 |16.5 1986 |13.2 1987 |14.0 1988 |13.5 <1> Excluding Spain and Portugal. Source: Eurostat.
Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the total tonnage of imports of bananas in each of the last five years from (a) Africa, Caribbean and Pacific suppliers, (b) Latin America and (c) other suppliers.
Mr. Maclean : The total tonnage of imports of bananas into the United Kingdom in each of the last five years from (a) African, Caribbean and Pacific signatories to the Lome convention, (b) dollar area countries (incorporating Latin American sources) and (c) other suppliers are as follows :
|1984 |1985 |1986 |1987 |1988 |tonnes |tonnes |tonnes |tonnes |tonnes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- African, Caribbean and Pacific |184,463 |222,678 |275,836 |271,620 |322,327 Dollar area (including Latin American countries) |120,854 |99,363 |59,541 |80,604 |61,654 Other suppliers |4,010 |1,506 |7,619 |7,193 |4,016 |--------|--------|--------|--------|-------- Total |309,327 |323,547 |342,996 |359,417 |387,997 Source: Her Majesty's Customs General Trade Tabulation Sheets.
Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what criteria the banana trade advisory committee take into account in its monthly meetings to assess the supply and demand position on imported bananas.
Mr. Maclean : In assessing the supply position the banana trade advisory committee considers estimates of future sendings from all ACP and EC origins given either by the traditional supplying countries or by the main importing companies. The committee also keeps in mind the minimum figure for imports of bananas from the dollar area guaranteed to the smaller banana importers. On demand, estimates are based on advice from all sectors of the trade and take account of the Government's own rising minimum supply requirement figures which are published for the year ahead.
Mr. Allan Stewart : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent discussions he has had with European Community Ministers concerning banana import policy ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : None. But my officials have been in contact with their counterparts in other European Community countries and the European Commission. We wish to ensure that policy from 1993 onwards on bananas takes account of consumer interests and of the competition and efficiency objectives of the single market, and is consistent with our commitments to our Caribbean suppliers.
Mr. Maclean : We have received representations from a wide variety of interests in the past 12 months, including from United Kingdom trade, ripener and retailer interests and from our supplying countries. Our responses have reflected the balance of interests that is struck in our banana policy--the fulfilment of commitments to our traditional suppliers, the improvement of competition in the market and the improvement of banana quality.
Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the present membership of his food advisory committee and the committee on the toxicity of chemicals in food, consumers products and the environment and whether there have been any changes in either committee during the last 12 months.
Name |Occupation ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Dr. Ewan S. Page (Chairman) |Vice Chancellor, BSc, MA, PhD, CBIM FBCS |Reading University. Dr. Margaret Ashwell BCc |Science Director, (Hons) PhD, MIHEc, FIFST, |British Nutrition Foundation. FRSH Mr. Michael J. Boxall ACII, |Company Secretary, CBIM |Tesco Plc. Professor Douglas Georgala |Director of Food Research, CBE, PhD, FIFST | AFRC and Director of the |Institute of Food Research. Dr. Tom Gorsuch OBE, BSc, |Former Director of Research PhD, FIFST |and Quality Control, Colmans |of Norwich (Retired). Professor R. Marian Hicks BSc, PhD, DSc, FRCPath |Group Research and |Development Centre. Mr. Roger Manley, FITSA |Director of Trading Standards, |Cheshire County Council. Miss Patricia Mann FCam, |Head of External Affairs, FIPA, CBIM |J. Walter Thompson |Group and Editor of "Consumer |Affairs". Mrs. Jill Moore OBE |National Consumer Council |and Chairman of National |Federation of Consumer |Groups. Dr. Bryan Nichols MSc, PhD |Legislation and Health Policy |Manager, Van den Berghs and |Jurgens Ltd. Mr. Ronald Nicholson M. |Regional Chemist, Public Chem A, FIFST, FIWEM, |Analyst and Agricultural CChem, FRSC |Analyst for the Regional |Council of Strathclyde; and |Public Analyst and Agricultural |Analyst for the Western Isles |Island Council. Mrs. Barbara Saunders |Freelance consultant on con- |sumer policy. Member of the |European Commission's |Consumer Consultative |Committee. Mr. Tony Skrimshire C. Chem, |Director, Purchasing and |FRSC, FIFST |Company Ltd. Professor Paul Turner MD, |Professor of Clinical BSc, FRCP, Mr. Pharms Hon. |Pharmacology, FiBiol |St. Bartholomew's Hospital. Dr. Roger G. Whitehead BSc, |Director of the Medical PhD, MA, FiBiol, C. Biol, |Research Council's Dunn Hon. MRCP |Nutrition Unit Cambridge, UK |and the Gambia, West Africa.
The following appointments have been made since 1 December 1988 : Professor D. Georgala ; Mrs. J. Moore OBE ; Mr. R. Nicholson ; and Mrs. B. Saunders were appointed on 1 November 1989. The following members have retired ; Dr. H. O. W. Eggins BSc, PhD, FI Biol, director of Bioquest Ltd ; Mr. A. J. Harrison MBE, M. Chem A, C Chem, FRSC, FIFST, FRSH, chief scientific adviser, public analyst and official agricultural analyst to Avon county council, and public analyst and official agricultural analyst to Gloucestershire county council ; Mrs. M. Stamper BSc, Dip Ed, part-time lecturer in biology, Lewes technical college and chairman of the National Federation of Women's Institutes' environmental and public affairs committee ; and Dr. E. R. Young MB, MRCP, senior registrar in dermatology, Wycombe general hospital.
These changes strengthen the consumer background of the FAC. Changes in membership of the FAC are always announced by press release.
The membership of the committee on toxicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment is a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will estimate the number of small egg producers which have gone out of business since the introduction of the Zoonoses Order 1989 ;
(2) what is his estimate of the number of egg producers which have gone out of business since 1 January.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action he has taken to allow United Kingdom egg producers to compete fairly with other European Community egg producers since the introduction of the Zoonoses Order of 1989.
Mr. Maclean : The European Commission are drafting proposed measures on salmonella in poultry including the establishment of effective controls at the points of production, to apply throughout the Community.
At present whilst imported eggs take a very small part of the market our exports have increased so far this year by over 90 per cent. compared with 1988. We are also developing an initiative to label British produced eggs as "British" to encourage consumers' confidence in British eggs.
Mr. Maclean : I understand that no food premises are managed directly by the Duchy of Cornwall. Certain of the Duchy's tenants are known to run food businesses, but details are not available centrally.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will make a statement on the molecular structures of (a) milk products, (b) meat and (c) fish which has been microwaved ;
(2) if he will make a statement on the presence of the amino acids D- proline and cis-hydroxyproline in food which has been microwaved.
Mr. Maclean : Microwaving is simply one method of heating food. I am not aware of any good evidence that changes in food brought about by microwave heating would not also be brought about by other methods producing equivalent amounts of heat.
I understand that the account of the research carried out at the University of Vienna and reported in The Lancet of 9 December was very incomplete. It failed to mention that a very small milk sample was microwaved at full power in a sealed tube to an unknown temperature (probably well in excess of 100 deg C) until it was brown. This heat treatment was far more severe than that received by other samples with which it was compared and bears no relation whatever to the way consumers would heat milk in the kitchen.
The Council discussed a possible Community initiative on agriculture in the current GATT round. I emphasised the need for a constructive Community position, which would further the process of agricultural reform and the negotiations. Further discussions will now be held in the Foreign Affairs Council.
The Council reached agreement in principle on a directive laying down arrangements for veterinary checks on certain animal products. This contains satisfactory safeguards so that the dismantling of controls at the border does not significantly increase the risk of the spread of disease. Special safeguards are included, benefiting countries, such as the United Kingdom, that do not vaccinate against food and mouth disease or are free from swine fever. The directive will be implemented at a date which will be decided by the Council taking account of arrangements to be put in place establishing a uniform Community system governing imports from third countries. Agreement in principle was also reached on a Council regulation specifying the level of checks member states must undertake on firms benefiting from payments under the guarantee section of the Community's farm fund. This should help to combat fraud.
124. Mr. Boswell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his estimate of the value of the global market in environmentally friendly technology ; and what steps he is taking to urge British companies to take a major share of this market.
Mr. Forth : Environmentally friendly technology is a portmanteau term which can be applied to an enormous selection of goods and services, from biodegradable washing powder to the fitting of flue gas desulphurisation processes to power stations. It is, therefore, impossible to state a single figure for the global market. However, the current estimate of the world market for pollution control products and services is £100 billion a year.
The Department of Trade and Industry has set up the business and the environment unit (BEU) to focus on specific key areas of the DTI environmental programme, such as waste management, clean technology and pollution control. The BEU helps United Kingdom companies to exploit the market opportunities for clean technology, pollution control equipment and services, and for other
environmentally-friendly products. It gathers and maintains information on standards and world markets, assists United Kingdom companies to take advantage of the various support schemes available in this field and encourages United Kingdom companies to participate in environmental technology exhibitions at home and abroad.
Mr. Ridley : Correspondence between British Aerospace and the Government over the future of the golden share from 1985 (when British Aerospace made its initial request to raise the foreign shareholding limit), to August 1989 when I decided to raise the BAe and Rolls-Royce limits following agreement with the European Commission, took place on the basis of commercial confidentiality. At the time of the Rover Group sale my right hon. and noble Friend, the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, made it clear, as can be seen from his letter of 12 July which I have sent to the hon. Member, that he was sympathetic to BAe's case for a relaxation of the limit. The detailed proposals for raising the limit, common to both companies, had to be decided in consultation with the Commission which had since 1987 queried compatibility at the 15 per cent. foreign shareholding with EC law.
Mr. Ridley : No tax concessions were made to British Aerospace during the Rover negotiations. On the contrary, contractual arrangements were put in place effectively to deny Rover Group the benefit of tax losses in excess of £500 million which the group was entitled to carry forward under United Kingdom tax law. In that connection, the position remains subject to any applicability of section 768 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, on which British Aerospace may seek a view from the Inland Revenue in accordance with the terms of the correspondence between British Aerospace's advisers and the Inland Revenue which has been made available to the Public Accounts Committee.
As explained at the time of the final deal, certain contractual ring- fencing arrangements agreed in the March conditional terms were lifted so that the final contractual position with regard to disclaimed capital allowances and capital losses was no more, and no less, restrictive than under normal revenue law.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the quantity and value of imported blood products, distinguishing between factor 8 and other blood products, in each year since 1980.
The information held centrally relates only to the usage of imported factor 8 concentrate and is given in the table. Information on the value of these imports is not held centrally.
United Kingdom usage of imported Factor 8 concentrate (millions of international units). |Number ------------------------ 1980 |<1>35.1 1981 |<1>35.5 1982 |<1>45.6 1983 |<1>39.5 1984 |<1>38.5 1985 |50.9 1986 |53.8 1987 |59.2 1988 |55.2 <1> Does not include users with acquired haemophilia.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the number, nature and size of charges made for services under the export initiative (a) in March 1989, and (b) in October 1989.
DTI Export Services Number of Charges Nature of Charge Size of Charge (income generated) Service |March 1989 |October 1989 |March 1989 |October 1989 |March 1989 |October 1989 |£k |£k ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Export Representative Service |33 |11 |£517.50, £345.00,|As for March |12.6 |1.91 |£172.50 |depending on |market Overseas status review service |21 |17 |£24.15 |As for MIEs |5.17 |1.61 |below Market Information Enquiries |No Charge |108 |No Charge |Up to 4 hours |No Charge |9.00 [MIEs] |work at Posts |overseas=£57.50 |over 4 |hours=£115 New Products Service |No Charge |1 |No Charge |£57.50 per story |No Charge |0.06 Export Intelligence Service |69,000 |n/a |£0.50p per notice|n/a |34.5 |n/a Overseas Trade Fairs |424 |634 |See below |See below |548.00 |992.00
It is difficult to compare the figures provided, as a new accounting system based on the use of the DTI service card for paying for most export services was introduced on 1 April 1989. The following should also be noted :
Overseas trade fairs : for fairs opening prior to 1 April 1990, the charge is 40 per cent. of the DTI's direct costs of providing space and exhibition stand for first time participants at an event, 55 per cent. for second timers and 75 per cent. for regular exhibitors. For events opening after 1 April 1990 the charge is 50 per cent. for the first three participations in a particular country (five for Japan) and full cost thereafter. Some of the receipts in October will be under the former regime and some under the latter. Export Intelligence Service : elements of the export intelligence service have been contracted out to Export Opportunities Ltd. The information for October 1989 is commercially confidential.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the contract awarded to Welbeck Financial Services Ltd. to operate the Department of Trade and Industry chargecard for exporters was subject to competitive tender ; and how tenders were obtained.
(2) if he will order an inquiry into alleged fraud involving the Ferranti Company.
The serious fraud office and the company fraud department of the metropolitan police are actively investigating allegations of fraud prior to, surrounding and subsequent to the merger of Ferranti plc and International Signal and Control Group plc.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the auditing firms criticised by his Department's inspectors since June 1979 but which have nevertheless been allowed to make accounting policy through their membership of the Accounting Standards Committee or its working parties ; and how such firms have come to be represented on the committee.
Mr. Redwood : Those voting members of the Accounting Standards Committee (ASC) who are accountants are nominated on a personal basis by their professional body and appointed by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, which has stipulated that they shall not regard themselves as delegates of sectional interests but shall be guided by the need to act in the general interests of the community and of the accountancy profession as a whole. Members of its working parties are appointed by the ASC itself.