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Mr. Freeman [holding answer 30 January 1990] : From 1990-91, regional health authorities' allocations reflect the amount of money available for services for their resident populations. From that allocation they must pay for services used by their residents in other regions : they will also receive income for providing services to residents of other regions. For 1990-91, these payments will be made through central adjustments to cash limits. For Northern RHA this means a net deduction of £7,054,000. This is the sum of Northern RHA's net flows with all the other English regions. The amounts in question were agreed between the regions concerned.

The information on cross-boundary flows to support these adjustments will be included in the 1990-91 cash limits exposition booklet, which will be issued shortly. A copy will be placed in the Library as requested.

Subject to legislation, cross-boundary flows, like other health services, will in future be paid for by contracts between a patient's district health authority or general practitioner and the place of treatment.

Mr Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the £1,361,000 credited to the Northern health region in respect of cross- boundary flows from Scotland and Wales was deducted from National Health Service spending in Scotland and Wales ; and where he proposes to record all such deductions or contributions in the public accounts.

Mr. Freeman [holding answer 30 January 1990] : Historically, there have not been transfers of funds across borders in respect of flows of patients between the home countries. In 1990-91, the Northern regional health authority will be compensated for treating patients from Scotland and Wales by means of a sum top-sliced from English Health Service revenue funds. Subject to legislation, contracting for health services will be introduced from the financial year 1991-92 ; from that stage Scottish health boards and Welsh district health authorities will be able to place contracts with English hospitals and English authorities will have similar freedom to place cross-border contracts. The treatment in the statutory accounts of funds crossing national borders under the terms of such contracts has yet to be decided.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what research his Department has carried out into the connection between bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt Jakob disease ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : I refer to the reply given on 31 January to the hon. Member by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has initiated any prosecutions in respect of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy infected cattle identified at markets and slaughterhouses ; and if he will make a statement.


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Mr. Maclean : Prosecutions will be taken where there is evidence of deliberate attempts to evade the legal requirement to notify the Ministry of suspected cases of BSE. So far no such cases have arisen.

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has recently introduced a greater level of inspection of bovines at markets and slaughterhouses to detect bovine spongiform encephalopathy ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : In November 1989, official veterinarians began random ante mortem inspections of cattle submitted for slaughter at non-EC approved abattoirs. Ministry vets carry out regular monitoring at markets.

Enzymes

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what form of words he deems acceptable for labelling meat where gels containing enzymes have been used as binding agents ; and if he will make a further statement.

Mr. Maclean : There is very little I can add to the answer I gave to the hon. Member on 17 January 1990, at column 217. All food is required to be labelled so as to give an indication of its true nature and where necessary its physical condition or treatment to ensure consumers are not misled. It is for the food manufacturer to decide how he complies with the law ; it would be inappropriate for me to suggest forms of labelling for specific products such as this.

Cattle Offals

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what uses are still permitted for those cattle offals now banned for use for human consumption.

Mr. Maclean : Bovine offal which has been banned from human consumption is normally removed at the slaughterhouse, or, in the case of bovine brain, at a specialist boning plant.

If the material is sterilised, it is subject to the general prohibition on its use for human consumption. If not sterilised, it may be moved only under a local authority movement permit and must either be stained and taken to a rendering plant or licensed waste food processor or, if unstained, may be used only in the production of non-food products such as strings for musical instruments or sports equipment, in medical, veterinary or other research premises or in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products.

Special guidelines on the use of bovine material were circulated to the pharmaceutical industry in March 1989.

The feeding of ruminant-based protein to ruminants is prohibited by the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (No. 2) Order 1988 as amended.

Black Pudding

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what recent representations he has received about restrictions imposed on black pudding makers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : My officials met representatives of the Natural Sausage Casings Association on 12 January to


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discuss the consequences of the Bovine Offal (Prohibition) Regulations 1989. There was a useful discussion of the background to, and the effects of, these regulations.

Veterinary Investigation Centres

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list the veterinary investigation centres he intends to close and the dates when the closure is due ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maclean : The review of the veterinary investigation service commissioned by the Minister is now being finalised and the report will shortly be submitted to Ministers. As yet, no decisions have been made on any recommendations that might arise from this review.

Mr. Barry Jones : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many persons are employed at the veterinary investigation centre at (a) Aberystwyth, (b) Bangor and (c) Carmarthen.

Mr. Maclean : As of 1 January 1990, the total veterinary scientific and laboratory support staff employed at the veterinary investigation centre at (a) Aberystwyth was 11, (b) Bangor was 10 and (c) Carmarthen was 15.

Food Quality

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he will commission a national survey into the quality of food supplied by wholesalers to local authority schools and elderly persons' homes ; and if he will publish the results ;

(2) what action he proposes to take in response to the results of the recent survey undertaken by trading standards officers in Yorkshire and Humberside on food supplied by wholesalers to local authority schools and elderly persons' homes.

Mr. Maclean : I too was disturbed to read the results of this survey by trading standards officers. There are, however, already powers in the Food Act 1984 which make it an offence to sell food which is not of the nature, substance or quality demanded by the purchaser and trading standards officers are very familiar with the operation of this law. The Food Safety Bill currently before Parliament continues these powers.

It is of course for any local authority to ensure that foodstuffs supplied to its establishments meet the terms of its purchase contract and to take appropriate civil or criminal action if there should be any failure to supply the quality demanded. In the circumstances, the local authorities concerned already therefore have adequate powers to deal with the matter and I see no cause for me to intervene.

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to increase the sanctions available to trading standards officers investigating the supply of unfit food.

Mr. Maclean : The application of sanctions against those who supply unfit food is of course a matter for the courts. However, the Food Safety Bill is substantially increasing the statutory penalties for contraventions of this kind.


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Miss Sarah Furnival

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth will receive a reply to his letter dated 11 December 1989 referring to Miss Sarah Furnival.

Mr. Gummer : A reply to the hon. Member's letter dated 11 December 1989 referring to Miss Sarah Furnival was dispatched on 30 January 1990.

Organic Farming

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how he intends to implement the European Commission's regulations concerning standards for organic farming.

Mr. Maclean : The European Commission proposal for a regulation on organic foodstuffs is currently under discussion in a Council working group and much detailed work remains to be done before it is ready for consideration by the EEC Council of Agriculture Ministers. If adopted by the Council in the form of a regulation, it will be directly applicable in all member states. The proposals provide for the designation of an authority to implement certain measures. I have already indicated that the United Kingdom Register of Organic Food Standards would, in this country, be the designated authority.

Calves' Brains

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he intends to introduce measures to restrict the use of calves' brains for human consumption.

Mr. Maclean : I have no plans to restrict the use of brains from calves aged under six months beyond the controls contained in the Meat Products and Spreadable Fish Products Regulations.

Hill Farming

Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he anticipates announcing the outcome of the hill farming review and the hill livestock compensatory allowances to be paid in 1990.

Mr. Gummer : I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made to the House on 30 January 1990, at column 159-70.

Pesticides

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if, further to his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields on 16 January, Official Report, column 220, he will give the dates when each of the active ingredients first received approval ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 29 January 1990] : The information requested is as follows :




Active Ingredient                     |First                              

                                      |Approved                           

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aldicarb                              |1973                               

Aldrin                                |1956                               

Aminotriazole                         |1961                               

Binapacryl                            |1962                               

Biological agents used as pesticides;                                     

   Bacillus Thuringiensis             |1967                               

   Trichoderma viride                 |1979                               

   Verticillium lecanii               |1980                               

Bitertanol                            |1982                               

Captafol                              |1965                               

Chlordane                             |1962                               

Cyhexatin                             |1970                               

Daminozide                            |1967                               

DDT                                   |1944                               

Dieldrin                              |1956                               

Dimethoate                            |1958                               

Dinoseb                               |1961                               

Dinoseb-acetate                       |1965                               

Dinoterb                              |1972                               

DNOC                                  |1960                               

Endrin                                |1984                               

Ethylene dibromide                    |1961                               

Fenbutatin oxide                      |1983                               

Fentin acetate                        |1965                               

Fentin hydroxide                      |1964                               

Iprodione                             |1976                               

Maleic hydrazide                      |1960                               

Mercury compounds:                                                        

   Phenyl Mercury Acetate             |1959                               

   Mercuric oxide                     |1968                               

   Mercurous chloride                 |1965                               

   Ethyl Mercury Phosphate            |1956                               

   2-Methoxyethyl Mercury Acetate     |1971                               

Sulphonyl Ureas:                                                          

   Chlorsulfuron                      |1981                               

   Metsulfuron-Methyl                 |1984                               

Synthetic Pyrethroids                 |1970-1980                          

Triazophos                            |1972                               

2, 4, 5-T                             |1965                               

Glycol ethers, which appeared under "Use continues unchanged" in my answer of 16 January to the hon. Member for South Shields, at column 220, is in fact a solvent and not an active ingredient. It has been in use for a number of years and was last reviewed in 1983.

Dr. David Clark : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, further to his answer to the hon. Member for South Shields on 11 January, Official Report, columns 748-49, how many new active ingredients in 1986 were (a) received, (b) approved and (c) rejected prior to 6 October 1986 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gummer [holding answer 29 January 1990] : The information set out relates to new pesticide active ingredients for which my Department has responsibility :


                                                     |Numbers        

---------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) Applications received before 6 October 1986      |28             

(b) Approvals (full/provisional/experimental permit)                 

    granted before 6 October 1986                    |9              

(c) Applications rejected before 6 October 1986      |3              


 

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