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9 Jul 2002 : Column 846W
Mr. Meacher: We are committed to protecting and improving the quality of water in which bivalve molluscs grow. Under the EC shellfish waters directive we have designated 93 waters in England, harvested for shellfish, and have agreed water company spending of over £50 million on improvements to coastal sewage treatment and storm overflows up to 2005 specifically to improve water quality at these sites. Our target is for all commercial harvested shellfish beds to achieve at least category B under the EC shellfish hygiene directive, which includes provisions to protect public health.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the EU committee for the adaptation to scientific and technical progress of the directive on protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources is next due to meet; whether experts nominated by the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The committee last met on 17 June 2002. No date has yet been set for the next meeting but the committee usually meets every six months. A representative from the Scottish Executive is invited to attend each meeting as part of the UK delegation.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the mandate of the Scientific Committee on Food 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. 
The mandate for the scientific committee for food (SCF) is set out in European Commission (EC) Decision 1997/579/EC. The committee advises the Commission on any problem relating to the protection of the health and safety of persons arising or likely to arise from the consumption of food, in particular on nutritional, hygienic and toxicological issues.
The committee has met six times in the last 12 months and there have been numerous working group meetings. The SCF is composed of independent experts (with experience in related scientific fields) and does not represent the views of the member states in which they work. Three members with expertise in food toxicology and microbiology are based in the UK.
The committee is currently considering a number of issues relating to food additives, flavourings, constituents of packaging material, aspects of nutrition and genetically modified food. Minutes, current agendas of meetings and opinions of the committee can be found on the SCF website.
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Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the EU Committee for the Adaptation to Technical Progress and Application of the Community Award Scheme for an Eco-label is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher: The next meeting is scheduled for 25 September this year. The European Commission has not yet circulated a final agenda, but the Committee's normal business is to vote formally on new or revised technical criteria that manufacturers need to satisfy to obtain the eco-label award for their products.
The Committeenow called the Eco-label Regulatory Committeeconsists of member states' nominated representatives. The UK is represented by an official from this Department. Representatives from the Scottish Executive have not attended, because the Executive has asked DEFRA to carry out all functions in relation to the EU eco-label on its behalf, as have the new Administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland. We liaise with the Administrations on relevant matters, and before each Regulatory Committee meeting DEFRA consults the new Administrations about the matters to be voted on.
We actively support the eco-label award scheme, whose aims are to promote products which can reduce negative environmental impacts, and to help provide consumers with accurate information about these aspects. The scheme was set up in 1992 by EU Regulation 88092, which was revised in 2000 by Regulation 19802000. To obtain the award, companies must prove that their products meet the appropriate environmental criteria agreed by EU member states, which are published on the Commission's website at http://europa.eu.int/comm/ environment/ecolabel/.
Mr. Meacher: We are currently in the process of considering the delegation for the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development but the final decision on the make up of the delegation will rest with the Prime Minister. However, both the Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I will attend the summit. Ministerial representation at the summit will reflect the cross cutting nature of sustainable development.
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 3 July 2002]: We hope that the summit will complement the Doha Development Agenda and the Monterrey Consensus by accelerating implementation of Agenda 21 and the Millennium Development Goals. We strongly support the priority areas of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity identified by the UN Secretary-General.
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Mr. Hoon: The Government's expenditure plans 200203 to 200304 for the Ministry of Defence are published today. The document provides details of the Government's plans for defence expenditure for the two years 200203 to 200304. It complements the MOD's Performance Report 200001 (Cm 5290, November 2001) submitted to Parliament last year.
The document is part of a series of departmental reports which, along with the main estimates, and the document "Public Expenditure: Statistical Analyses 200203", present the Government's expenditure plans for 200204.
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence is consulted by other Government Departments on the negotiation or implementation of various European directives (for example, those concerning employment and workers' rights). But EU directives do not generally relate specifically to the MOD and the MOD has not been the lead Department dealing with any amendment or repeal of the directives in 2002.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the EU directives and regulations that have been implemented through his Department in 2002; and what was the cost of each to public funds. 
Dr. Moonie: The Ministry of Defence is consulted by other Government Departments on the implementation of various European directives or regulations (for example, those concerning employment and workers' rights), but is not generally the lead Department dealing with implementation and has not been in relation to any directives or regulations in 2002.
Mrs. Mahon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much unexploded ordnance was dumped into Lakes Prespa and Dolnolipkovsko in Macedonia in September 1999; and what other waste was dumped there; 
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reports published on the internet. If the hon. Member would care to write with more details, I will investigate further.
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