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Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures she has put in place to ensure the implementation of the Curry report recommendations for clear and honest labelling of meat products. 
Ms Blears: The Food Standards Agency is taking the lead in pressing for changes to European Union labelling rules to require country of origin labelling on a wider range of foods, particularly meat products. It is also pressing for changes that would prevent misleading labelling by restricting the use of terms like "produce of . . ." to those foods where the main ingredients come from, and production processes occur in, the named place or country. Other EU member states are supporting the UK's initiative on this issue. In addition, the recent
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adoption of a harmonised definition of meat across Europe for food labelling purposes means meat products will declare and quantify their meat ingredients on a common basis, making it easier for consumers to compare products and make better informed choices.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to amend the law to require the labels on imported processed food to state whether the food contains beef from animals more than 30 months old or has been processed in a country where such meat is allowed to enter the human food chain. 
Ms Blears [holding answer 12 June 2002]: The Government are in favour of positive labelling giving consumers the information they need to make properly informed choices. The Food Standards Agency is taking the lead in pressing for changes to European labelling rules to require more informative country-of-origin labelling on a wider range of foods, particularly those containing meat.
However, it would not be possible to extend labelling requirements to cover imported processed food containing beef from animals over 30 months old in the way that has been suggested. The rules covering the restrictions on sale of over thirty-month imported beef are UK national measures and such additional labelling requirements may not be in conformity with EU law. In addition, it is usually not possible to tell the age of the animal from which processed beef products have been derived.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many alleged incidents of condemned meat being illegally mislabelled and sold on for consumption have been investigated in each of the last five years; and how many prosecutions have been instigated for such offences in each of these years. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the mandate of the Committee for the Adaptation to Technical Progress of the Directive on the Removal of Technical Barriers to Trade in Colouring Matters which may be Added to Medicinal Products is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The committee for the adaption to technical progress of the directives on the elimination of technical barriers to trade in the sector of colouring matters which may be added to medicinal products is a regulatory committee which assists the European Commission in exercising its powers of implementation and facilitates the adoption of draft measures in the field permitted colours for medicinal products. It consists of representatives of member states with a representative of the European Commission as chairman. The UK representatives are the chief executive of the Medicines Control Agency (MCA), in relation to medicines for human use, and the chief executive of the veterinary
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medicines directorate in relation to veterinary medicines. The committee has not met during the last 12 months and no costs to public funds have been incurred. Its rules provide for a written procedure which may be invoked as an alternative to convening meetings.
Together with member states, the European Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to "simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission". The Commission has published an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (Com(2001) 783 Final). As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the mandate of the Scientific Committee on Animal Nutrition is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Blears: The mandate for the scientific committee on animal nutrition (SCAN) is set out in European Commission Decision 1997/579/EC, as amended by Commission Decision 2000/443/EC. The committee provides opinions on scientific questions concerning animal nutrition.
The committee has met seven times in plenary session in the year ending 30 April 2002. In addition, there have been several working group meetings. SCAN is composed of independent experts who do not represent the views of the member states in which they work. Three members are based in the UK.
The committee is accountable solely to the European Commission, which pays the travel and subsistence costs of members. There are no additional costs to UK public funds. The committee is currently considering a number of dossiers for products used in animal nutrition. Minutes and current agendas of the committee's meetings can be found on the SCAN website.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doctors from the European Economic Area have been appointed as associate specialists in the NHS; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: At 30 September 2001 there were 50 associate specialists working in the national health service in England who had obtained their primary medical qualification in the European Economic Area.
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Member for North Durham (Mr. Jones), Official Report, column 725W, on smallpox vaccine, when the new supplies of vaccine will be delivered. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department is not putting information about the size of its smallpox vaccine stocks, delivery schedules or its deployment into the public domain as this is information that might be useful to terrorists.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent by each acute trust on agency locum doctors as (a) a total annual amount, (b) a proportion of the annual expenditure on doctors' salaries and (c) as a proportion of the total operating expenses in each of the last five years for which records are available. 
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the savings which NHS trusts can make by recruiting locums from NHS Professionals rather than private agencies. 
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 24 May 2002]: NHS Professionals for doctors will improve the quality of patient care by establishing a national database of doctors outside managed organisations, improving standards and providing locum doctors with suitable appraisal and in due course support for general medical Council revalidation.
NHS Professionals are non-profit making service designed for, and led by, the national health service. We expect it to provide a high quality competitive service as the first-choice supplier to the NHS. It is difficult to predict the precise savings as NHS employers have a variety of different arrangements with the private sector agencies.
Ms Blears [holding answer 29 April 2002]: Data on waiting times by primary care trust area are not yet available as many primary care trusts have only recently been formed. The following data show numbers waiting over nine months for coronary artery by-pass surgery and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty on 31 March 2002, by region and health authority, as was.
Waiting times have been substantially reduced since the publication of the national service framework for coronary heart disease in March 2000. At that time 1,093 patients had been waiting for more than 12 months for a heart operation. By March 2002 we have achieved, with the exception of 20 patients who declined earlier dates, a 12-month maximum wait for revascularisation.
|Region/HA code/HA name||911 months||12+ months||911 months||12+ months|
|Northern and Yorkshire|
|QDE County Durham and Darlington||19||3||3||0|
|QDF East Riding and Hull||30||3||1||0|
|QDG Gateshead and South Tyneside||6||0||0||0|
|QDJ Newcastle and North Tyneside||11||0||1||0|
|QDK North Cumbria||25||0||0||0|
|QDR North Yorkshire||21||3||0||0|
|QDT Calderdale and Kirklees||26||3||4||0|
|QCH North Derbyshire||1||4||1||0|
|QCJ Southern Derbyshire||0||0||2||1|
|QCN North Nottinghamshire||0||1||1||1|
|QDL South Humber||0||0||0||0|
|QEH North Staffordshire||6||8||0||0|
|QEJ South Staffordshire||12||11||1||0|
|QC1 South Lancashire||15||7||3||0|
|QC4 Morecambe Bay||21||11||0||0|
|QC5 St. Helens and Knowsley||16||9||1||1|
|QC6 Salford and Trafford||10||2||0||0|
|QC9 West Pennine||9||5||0||0|
|QCT Bury and Rochdale||16||5||0||0|
|QCV North Cheshire||7||6||1||1|
|QCW South Cheshire||16||7||2||0|
|QCX East Lancashire||15||5||8||2|
|QCY North West Lancashire||20||7||15||1|
|QDA Wigan and Bolton||11||3||0||0|
|QAX North Essex||25||6||1||0|
|QAY South Essex||41||12||0||0|
|QA3 Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster||0||0||0||0|
|QA5 Redbridge and Waltham Forest||29||15||0||0|
|QAG Kingston and Richmond||7||0||2||0|
|QAH Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham||0||0||0||0|
|QAJ Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth||3||0||14||0|
|QAP Barking and Havering||15||6||0||0|
|QAR Brent and Harrow||3||0||5||0|
|QAT Camden and Islington||3||2||0||0|
|QAV Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow||0||0||0||0|
|QAW East London and City||17||7||0||0|
|QEW Barnet, Enfield and Haringey||1||7||0||0|
|QEY Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich||3||2||1||0|
|QAE East Kent||7||0||0||0|
|QAF West Kent||9||1||1||0|
|QAK East Surrey||0||0||0||0|
|QAL West Surrey||2||0||3||0|
|QAM East Sussex Brighton and Hove||29||2||0||0|
|QAN West Sussex||12||1||0||0|
|QCE Oxfordshire HA||7||3||0||0|
|QD1 North and Mid Hampshire||8||1||3||0|
|QD3 Southampton and SW Hampshire||9||3||4||1|
|QEV Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and South East Hampshire||6||7||0||0|
|QD6 South and West Devon||14||8||1||0|
|QDV Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||20||7||4||0|
|QDX North and East Devon||4||0||1||0|
Department of Health form QF01
20 Jun 2002 : Column 565W
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