Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment her Department has made of the effect on industry of the proposal for a regulation on nutrition and health claims made on foods (2003/0165 COM); and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: A supplementary explanatory memorandum 11646/03 was lodged in the Library in March 2004 covering a regulatory impact assessment (RIA). The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has worked together with the Small Business Service and the Cabinet Office regulatory impact unit to ensure as full an assessment as possible is made.
The RIA has since been revised to reflect changes to the text of the proposal following negotiation. These have included lengthening the transitional periods, removing proposed bans on types of health claim and clarifying the ways in which health claims would be authorised. The areas where industry may be subject to additional costs are re-labelling, possible reformulation, scientific substantiation of the effect claimed, and where the loss of a claim makes it uneconomic to market the product.
The FSA estimates that where nutrition or health claims underpin marketing of products the food industry and food supplements industry might face costs ranging from zero to £5 million as a result of this European Union proposal.
Caroline Flint: The Government have and will continue to contribute actively to the European Commission's current comprehensive reviews of both the food labelling Directive 2000/13/EC and the nutrition labelling Directive 90/46/EC. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will be consulting fully on any proposals received. Rules on the labelling of food allergens and improved ingredient listing come into force later this year.
In addition to the legal requirements, the FSA has issued best practice guidance on food labelling practice, some of which is being reviewed, and further guidance is in preparation. The FSA is also currently working with stakeholders to develop a system of front-of-pack
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signposting that will help consumers make healthier choices by providing at-a-glance information on the nutritional content of the food.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when Ministers next plan to meet representatives of Consumers for Health Choice, the Health Food Manufacturers' Association and the National Association of Health Stores to discuss her strategy for achieving her objectives in relation to the regulation of vitamin and mineral supplements; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the implications for the attainment of her objectives in relation to the regulation of food supplements of the decision of the member companies of the Council for Responsible Nutrition to reformulate their products to remove in advance of the July deadline those safe ingredients which are not permitted under the terms of the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003; 
(4) how the Food Standards Agency plans to influence the response of the European Commission to the forthcoming ruling of the European Court of Justice in relation to the Food Supplements Directive; 
(5) how she plans to use the United Kingdom presidency of the European Union to influence Commission actions on food supplements legislation following the ruling of the European Court of Justice in relation to the Food Supplements Directive in July; 
(6) what guidance she has given the Food Standards Agency concerning its plans to influence the response of the European Commission once the European Court of Justice delivers its ruling in July in relation to the legality of the Food Supplements Directive. 
Caroline Flint: Ministers have regularly met with food supplement industry representatives and other groups, including Consumers for Health Choice, to discuss the Food Supplements Directive and to maintain an open dialogue. This dialogue should be continued following the ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The Government's objective is to ensure the protection of consumer health.
The decision by member companies of the Council for Responsible Nutrition to reformulate their products is a commercial one and is made on a company by company basis. It is not appropriate for Ministers to assess such commercial decisions. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has made it clear that it will give derogation to any substance where a dossier has been submitted; this applies to the 28 dossiers received to date. The FSA has offered to provide additional resource so that as many dossiers as possible are developed before 12 July 2005 to maintain consumer choice.
The FSA has sought clarification from the Commission on its advice following the publication of the opinion of the Advocate General. The Commission advised that no action can be taken until the ECJ issues its ruling. The FSA will then decide on its course of action, as an independent Government Department which advises Ministers. Further discussions will take place at this stage.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department has commissioned on the effects of genetically modified food on human health in each of the past eight years for which records are available. 
Caroline Flint: In the European Union, all genetically modified (GM) foods are subject to a mandatory pre-market safety assessment before they can be permitted to enter the food chain. This assessment is carried out on a case by case basis and provides assurance that any approved GM food is as safe as its non-GM conventional counterpart. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) funds a large body of research to support the safety assessment of GM foods, but has not commissioned any specific research in the area mentioned above. Information on research carried out by the FSA can be found on its website at: www.food.gov.uk/science/research/
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department (a) is undertaking and (b) has commissioned into whether the DNA of genetically modified materials is being transferred into the human gut. 
Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published research on human volunteers that examined the potential for horizontal gene transfer from genetically modified food to gut bacteria. No intact DNA was shown to be transferred to bacteria in the intestinal tract. A number of other studies on horizontal gene transfer have also been commissioned by the FSA. These have been published on the FSA website at www.food.gov.uk/ and in peer reviewed journals. No further FSA-funded research is currently under way in this area.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the estimated financial outcome in the 200506 financial year is for (a) Poole Primary Care Trust, (b) Bournemouth Primary Care Trust and (c) the South East Dorset Primary Care Trust. 
Caroline Flint: The financial plans for 200506 have not yet been finalised, but primary care trusts are expected to plan to live within their revenue resource, capital resource and cash limits each and every year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many full-time equivalent temporary staff have
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been employed at (a) the RJ and AH Orthopaedic Hospital Gobowen, (b) the Royal Hospital, Shrewsbury and (c) the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford in each of the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the format requested. The table does not show the number of non-medical locum and temporary staff, since this information is not collected centrally.
|Princess Royal Hospital National Health Service Trust
|Royal Shrewsbury Hospitals NHS Trust
|Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust
|Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff at (a) the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, (b) the Princess Royal Hospital, Telford and (c) the RJ and AH Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen have been dedicated to the treatment of MRSA in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the budget of the RJ and AH Orthopaedic Hospital, Gobowen has been dedicated to the treatment of MRSA in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the budget of the (a) Princess Royal Hospital, Telford and (b) Royal Shrewsbury Hospital has been dedicated to the treatment of MRSA in each of the last five years.