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(6) what strategy she has adopted to achieve her objectives for the interpretation and implementation of the food supplements directive; what progress she has
made to date in implementing that strategy; what progress she has made in persuading other member states to agree to the United Kingdoms objectives for the implementation of that legislation; and if she will make a statement; 
(7) what further steps she intends to take to ensure that right hon. and hon. Members are fully informed about progress towards the achievement of her objectives for the interpretation and implementation of the food supplements directive; 
(8) with Ministers of which other European Union member states Ministers of her Department have recently met to discuss the interpretation and implementation of the Food Supplements Directive; on what date such meetings were held; and what the outcome was of the discussions. 
Caroline Flint: Dossiers for 421 substances were accepted by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) from manufacturers seeking to gain derogation for the substances to remain on the United Kingdom (UK) market. Of these, 46 dossiers were submitted after 12 July 2005 and the FSA had been given to understand that receipt of these dossiers was acceptable, and had advised that the substances covered by these could continue to be used in supplements. The European Commission (EC) has subsequently advised that the substances cannot benefit from the derogation. The FSA is carrying out inquiries of the relevant companies to obtain accurate details of the substances concerned. The 375 dossiers submitted before the deadline are awaiting an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority, and a decision by the standing committee on the food chain and animal health.
Meetings were held with the Netherlands (7 March), Germany (20 March), Finland (31 March), Ireland (6 April), Italy (20 April) and France (24 April). The meetings were used to present the outcome of preliminary discussions in the absence of EC proposals by the FSA board on setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements, and the UK market for food supplements. Member states were receptive to the ideas presented by the FSA but had not developed their own definitive positions in the absence of proposals from the EC.
FSA officials discussed what work might be undertaken to provide information on the economic impact of the food supplements directive with respect to setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals with the better regulation executive on 2 June 2006. It was agreed that this should be discussed further after the EC has published its discussion documents on this issue.
FSA officials have considered the papers provided by the German Government on the safety of boron. FSA officials have discussed with the EC the fact that the issue under consideration is the addition of substances to the annexes in the food supplements directive and, not at this stage, to agree maximum levels for individual vitamins and minerals. The FSA is considering this and the EC is awaiting its advice before there is a further discussion at the EC standing committee.
The FSA has received a copy of the report published by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Germany, which outlines recommended levels for certain vitamins and minerals. A response to the report is not planned. No proposals on setting levels have been published by the EC to date, and member states have yet to indicate their negotiating positions.
The outcome of preliminary discussions by the FSA board on setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements, in the absence of EC proposals, has formed the basis of discussions with member states on this issue. The UK strategy has been to encourage discussion with other key member states and to engage in discussions on this subject at this early stage, prior to papers being published by the EC. This strategy has been developed to implement the objectives of Health Ministers. A number of meetings have been held with member states.
No meetings have been held with Ministers from other European Union member states on the food supplements directive. A letter has been sent to all Ministers advising them of the preliminary discussions by the FSA board in September 2005 on setting maximum levels of vitamins and minerals in food supplements.
Caroline Flint: The main source of data available on the obesity and smoking rates among adults is the Health Survey for England (HSE) and the General Household Survey (GHS). Data are not available in the format requested. However, tables 1 to 4 show the most recent data available on the estimates of obesity and smoking prevalence at Standard Housing Association, Government Office Region (GOR) and national level.
Table 1 presents the data on obesity among adults in Shropshire and Staffordshire (the former SHA which contains Stoke-on-Trent). The sample size of the HSE does not allow figures to be produced below SHA level.
|Table 1: Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 16 and over in the former Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA, by gender (three-year average), 2000-02|
| Source: Health Survey for England: health and lifestyle indicators for strategic health authorities 1994 to 2002, Department of Health.|
|Table 2: Prevalence of smoking among adults aged 16 and over in the former Shropshire and Staffordshire SHA (three-year average), by gender|
| Source: Health Survey for England: health and lifestyle indicators for strategic health authorities1994-2002, Department of Health.|
|Table 3: Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 16 and over in West Midlands GOR, 2003|
| Source: Health Survey for England 2003, Department of Health.|
|Table 4: Prevalence of smoking among adults aged 16 and over in West Midlands GOR, by gender, 2004|
| Source: General Household Survey 2004, ONS.|
|Table 5: Prevalence of obesity among adults aged 16 and over in England, 2004|
| Source: Health Survey for England 2004updating of trend tables to include 2004 data. The Information Centre for health and social care.|
|Table 6: Prevalence of smoking among adults aged 16 and over in England, 2004|
| Source: General Household Survey 2004, ONS.|
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with the government of the Philippines regarding (a) the effects of health worker migration from the Philippines to the United Kingdom and (b) the full inclusion of the Philippines in the Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Workers. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 3 July 2006]: Departmental officials met the ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines in December 2005. Information was exchanged on both countries healthcare work force. The Philippines is not included in the list of countries from which recruitment is discouraged.
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the average waiting time for hepatitis C patients was from referral to first appointment with a consultant in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(3) how many patients in the Bournemouth primary care trust area received interferon treatment for hepatitis C with or without ribavirin in 2005-06; and how many of these waited for more than three months from their first hospital consultation. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: My hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has not had any specific discussions with primary care trusts (PCTs) about the level of expenditure on management consultancy, neither has the Department issued any specific guidance to PCTs relating to expenditure on management consultants.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what percentage of calls to NHS Direct have been referred to (a) 999 and (b) an accident and emergency department in each quarter since December 2002. 
|Financial year||Number of calls referred to 999 services by NHS Direct( 1)||Percentage of calls to NHS Direct which have been referred to 999||Number of calls referred to accident and emergency (A&E)( 2)||Percentage of calls to NHS Direct which have been referred to A&E|
|(1) Calls referred to ambulance or paramedic services. (2) Calls where patients are asked to attend an A&E department. Source: NHS Direct Special Health Authority|
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