At its open meeting in May 2007, the FSA Board recommended the mandatory fortification of bread or flour. The Board will consider whether to fortify bread, flour, or flour for bread making purposes only, at its open meeting in June 2007, after which it will submit its advice to United Kingdom Health Ministers.
Caroline Flint: The number of notified cases of food poisoning in England and Wales reported to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) each year since 1996 is shown in the following table. Total notifications have shown a decrease since 1996.
|Annual corrected food poisoning notifications. England and Wales 1996 to 2006( 1)
|Notifications otherwise ascertained( 1)
|(1) Includes port health authorities. (2) Provisional data. Source: HPA.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when she last met the Hyperactive Children's Support Group to discuss children's food additives; and if she will publish the minutes of the meeting; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the initial findings of research by the University of Southampton commissioned for the Food Standards Agency on children's food additives; when she expects the report to be published in full; and if she will make a statement; 
Caroline Flint: No recent discussions have been held with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on additives in children's food, nor have there been any meetings with the Hyperactive Children's Support Group.
The findings of the research by Southampton University on food additives and children's behaviour are currently undergoing a process of peer review by experts from one of the Government's independent advisory committees (the Committee on Toxicology of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment) and as part of the process of publication in a scientific journal. This peer review process ensures that the validity of the research is confirmed. The full technical report from the study is currently being finalised and will be published after the scientific papers are published in a scientific journal. Prior release of the results of the research would jeopardise the publication of the scientific papers.
There have been no discussions with other Ministers from European Union member states on food additives; however, discussions between EU member states are currently on-going concerning revisions to the harmonised food additive legislative framework. The European Food Safety Authority has commenced a review of the safety of all food additives, starting with colours, and the FSA will inform the European Commission when the Southampton University research is published so the results can be considered as part of the EU review.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will hold discussions with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to ensure the Committee for Advertising Practices revised non-broadcast code makes a difference to the nature and balance of advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children under the age of 16 years; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Departmental officials and I meet regularly with our counterparts in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to discuss the CAP, BCAP and Ofcom rules regarding the advertising and promotion of food in non-broadcast and broadcast media. The Government are committed to reviewing the change in the nature and balance of food advertising and promotion to children in 2008 and will consider further action based on the outcome of that review.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the Food Standards Agencys colour-coded food labelling recommendations on consumer behaviour. 
Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has made a commitment to independently evaluate front of pack nutrition signpost labelling schemes in operation in the United Kingdom and their effect on consumer behaviour and understanding. A study will be commissioned later this year to carry out a comparative evaluation of the three main front of pack labelling approaches currently in use in the UK marketplace, including the FSAs recommended colour coded scheme.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of (a) food labelling expressing guideline daily amounts and (b) other food labelling differing from the Food Standards Agencys recommendations. 
Caroline Flint: The Food Standards Agency has made a commitment to independently evaluate front of pack nutrition signpost labelling schemes in operation in the United Kingdom and their effect on consumer behaviour and understanding. A study will be commissioned later this year to carry out a comparative evaluation of the three main front of pack labelling approaches currently in use in the UK marketplace.
Current adopters of the Food Standards Agency (FSA's) front of pack signpost nutrition labelling approach tell us that by the end of 2007 over 8,000 own
label retailer products and 100 manufacturer product lines will carry signpost labelling based on the FSA's core principles. This includes products by Boots, Marks and Spencer, Sainsburys, Waitrose, the Co-operative Group, Virgin trains, Avondale, Britannia, The New Covent Garden Soup Company, McCain, Moypark, Bernard Matthews, S&B Herba Foods, Bombay Halwa and Budgens/Londis.
A number of additional companies are in the process of putting traffic light front of pack signpost labelling on their products, so these figures are likely to increase later in the year. A full list of those who are using the traffic light signpost can be found on the FSA's eatwell website at www.eatwell.gov.uk.
Caroline Flint: Legislation requires that food business operators ensure that all food sold or supplied is safe for human consumption. Most pre-packed food must also be labelled with a use-by date or a best before date as an indication of minimum durability. It is illegal to sell food after its use-by date.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps her Department has taken to educate people about the risk to their hearing from over exposure to loud noise; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The Department has set up an ad hoc advisory group to advise about the effects of environmental noise on health, which includes the risk to hearing from over exposure to loud noise. This group is currently producing a report on these matters, which is due to be published later this year.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produce a leaflet entitled Protect your hearing or lose it, which looks at noise and health issues in the workplace. This is available on the HSE website at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg363.pdf, and a copy has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance her Department has given to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on the use of hybrid embryos; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what consultation her Department is undertaking with health authorities on the implementation of Government guidance that they should provide infertile women with one round of IVF on the NHS; 
(3) what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the NHS of implementing Government guidelines that women suffering from infertility should be able to get one cycle of IVF on the NHS. 
Caroline Flint: We are funding the patient support organisation Infertility Network UK to work with primary care trusts (PCTs) to identify and share good practice in the provision of fertility services, including in vitro fertilisation. The implementation of guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), including the NICE fertility guideline, is a matter for individual PCTs, in discussion with local health bodies and patient groups, and taking account of local circumstances. There is no firm central estimate of the current cost to the NHS of providing one cycle of IVF. When the fertility guideline was published, NICE issued a costing template for use by individual PCTs.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 May 2007, Official Report, column 595W, on insulin, on which of the dates referred to she met Dr. Sue Roberts and Dr. Nick Summerton of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to discuss the Institutes future programme on insulin treatments; and what the outcome of such discussions was. 
Caroline Flint: I was not present at any of the meetings between Dr. Sue Roberts and Dr. Nick Summerton, where I understand they discussed the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellences (NICE) future programme on diabetes. A further meeting was held on 17 May 2007. These meetings are part of a series of meetings with the NICE and I understand that discussions are still ongoing.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health from where (a) general practitioners and (b) pharmacists draw their information on the malarial status of destinations for UK travellers; and how frequently this information is updated. 
Caroline Flint: Guidelines for use by healthcare workers on malaria prevention for travellers from the United Kingdom are formulated by the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) Advisory Committee on Malaria Prevention in UK Travellers (ACMP). The 2007 guidelines, and any change to advice arising since publication, are posted on the web at
Hard copies are available free of charge on request. The guidelines will be reviewed yearly by ACMP and updated as necessary. The British National Formulary (BNF), issued free to general practitioners and pharmacies by the Department, makes recommendations based on the guidelines.
The ACMP guidelines and any changes to advice are also available to professionals via the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) website at www.nathnac.org and from the TRAVAX website at www.travax.nhs.uk (The A to Z of Healthy Travel; maintained by the Travel Health Division of Health Protection Scotland). NaTHNaC is funded by the Department to promote clinical standards in travel medicine, and has a telephone advice line for health professionals. The departmental publication Health Information for Overseas Travel is available on the NaTHNaC website. The BNF references the HPA guidelines as well as the NaTHNaC and TRAVAX websites.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many secure places there are for psychiatric patients in London hospitals; and how many there were in each year between 2004 and 2006. 
The following table shows the average daily number of available secure unit beds, both mental illness and learning disability secure unit beds, in NHS organisations in London between 2003-04 and 2005-06.
|Average daily number of available secure unit beds, NHS organisations in London, 2003-04 to 2005-06
| Source: Department of Health form KH03.