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19 Dec 2001 : Column: 425W
European Commission's proposals for a Framework Directive for Minimum Efficiency Requirements for End-Use Equipment. 
Mr. Meacher: The European Commission has yet to bring forward a formal proposal for a Framework Directive for Minimum Energy Efficiency Requirements for End-Use Equipment, but it has recently indicated that it should be in a position to do so early in 2002. To help ensure that work on this subject can then proceed as efficiently as possible, the Department has been working closely with other member states to identify the key issues which will need to be addressed. Such work has been advanced this year by the Market Transformation Programme Information Forum www.mtpif.com, a joint initiative between the Department and the Dutch Government, which is designed to promote the development and free exchange of policy information in this field.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with EU partners to reach agreement to complete the Review of Council Directive 92/75/EEC on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by household appliances. 
Mr. Meacher: The Government have actively worked with other member states to encourage the European Commission to bring forward proposals for the revision of Council Directive 92/75/EEC as soon as possible. We have pursued this in collective discussions and directly with the commission.
To help ensure that a review can proceed as efficiently as possible, my Department has also been working closely with other members states to identify the key issues which will need to be addressed. Such work has been advanced this year by the Market Transformation Programme Information Forum www.mtpif.com, a joint initiative between the Department and the Dutch Government, which is designed to promote the development and free exchange of policy information in this field.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the Scottish Executive will be represented as part of the United Kingdom delegation at the North Sea conference in March 2002. 
Mr. Meacher: The Scottish Executive is contributing to preparations for the conference on issues where policy has been devolved. We are currently considering arrangements for attendance at the conference by Ministers and officials.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has funded in the last five years on the prevalence and impact of low frequency noise. 
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Mr. Meacher: We have funded the production of guidance for use by local authorities which will shortly be placed on DEFRA's website. This updates the advice provided to the Department by the Building Research Establishment in 1992.
Currently the organisations listed on the reverse of the licence are the RSPCA, the British Field Sports Society and the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare. Ministers have many meetings which involve the RSPCA and the Countryside Alliance, which is the successor organisation to the British Field Sports Association. I have met both during the course of the last month. The Universities Federation for Animal welfare is a scientific and technical animal welfare organisation. It uses scientific knowledge and established expertise to improve the welfare of animals as pets, in zoos, laboratories, on farms and in the wild. There has not been a recent meeting with this organisation.
Alun Michael [holding answer 17 December 2001]: Game licences are issued under legislation which has roots in the 19th Century. We have tried to discover the date on which the text was written, or revised, and it has proved difficult. The last changes were made in the 1970s.
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many items of correspondence from hon. Members addressed to her, which were received by her Department between (a) 7 June and 31 July, (b) 1 August and 31 August and (c) 1 September and 30 September, remain unanswered. 
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to all Members of Parliament on 14 November explaining the scale of the current problems faced by the Correspondence Section and setting out the mechanisms put in place to overcome these problems.
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reply to his question, tabled on 19 November, ref 16824, concerning Dr. Reza Hossam of St. John's Hospital, Chelmsford; 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list meetings held by (a) Ministers and (b) officials with (i) pro-hunt organisations, (ii) anti-hunt organisations and (iii) other organisations as part of the consultation on the resumption of hunting after the end of the foot and mouth outbreak. 
In addition, officials met the English and Welsh Farmers Fox Control Associations; the National Coursing Club; Council of Hunting Associations; the Federation of Welsh Packs; and the Countryside Alliance.
Lawrie Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress is being made in meeting the United Kingdom's legal obligations to implement the 1991 Nitrates Directive. 
Margaret Beckett: Following the decision by the European Court of Justice that the United Kingdom has failed to comply with the Nitrates Directive, I will be issuing a consultation document to key organisations very shortly, setting out the proposals for implementing the Nitrates Directive in England. The consultation will get under way in earnest in the new year, when a summary version of the consultation document will be sent to all farmers in England seeking their views on implementation options. The consultation document includes an outline of the help available from DEFRA for farmers to meet the cost of compliance.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has to require (a) restaurants and (b) fast-food outlets to disclose the country of origin of the meat in the meals which they serve. 
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However, the Food Standards Agency has recently reviewed the advice produced by the Government last year on the interpretation of existing rules on misleading labelling and country of origin. The review aims to ensure this advice addresses the issues that are of most concern to consumers and encourage increased voluntary declarations. The FSA's draft advice has been issued for public consultation and makes clear that, in catering establishments, care should be taken to ensure the wording of any origin information on menus etc. is clear and unambiguous.
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