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Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2008, Official Report, column 591W, on human embryo experiments, what the (a) prefix and (b) title is of each file held by his Department on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill of Session 1989-90; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The prefixes and titles of the files held by the Department, concerning the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill of session 1989-90, and related papers are shown in the following table:
|File prefix||File title|
Dawn Primarolo: We understand from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) currently charges industry for a proportion of the costs it incurs in carrying out meat hygiene and animal welfare official controls at approved meat premises. Businesses are charged the lower of the hourly MHS staff costs of delivering the official controls or a charge calculated from specified rates per animal or tonne of meat that is processed.
The FSA Board decided last July that the MHS should seek to progressively recover an increasing proportion of the cost of the meat hygiene and animal welfare controls that it provides and should seek to introduce charges for specified risk material official controls. At the same time, the MHS was required to improve efficiency.
The MHS is making significant changes to its operation that will reduce total costs in real terms from £91.3 million in 2006-07 to £75.0 million in 2011-12. In transforming, the MHS will continue to provide assurance that the meat industry produces safe meat for consumers.
Dawn Primarolo: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has reviewed the delivery of official controls currently undertaken by the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) in approved meat premises and a range of possible alternatives. This led the FSA board to set the MHS challenging targets to reduce the total and net costs of its operations over the next three financial years; to improve its productivity; to make full and cost effective use of its independent contractors; and to develop new charging arrangements. The board also decided that work should continue on preparations to pilot an alternative delivery model for its further consideration later this year.
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will contribute to the Meat Hygiene Services current consultation on charges; and if he will publish the results of the consultation. 
We understand from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the responses to the consultation are being considered and that a summary of them will be submitted to Ministers in the normal
way when the regulations to which they relate are submitted for approval. We understand that the responses summary, with joint FSA/Meat Hygiene Service comments, will be published on the FSAs website.
During this period MHS activity has increased and includes: the introduction of specified risk material controls; an increase in the attendance level of official veterinarians as required by European Union legislation; additional activity required during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak; and additional work involved in the introduction of the system to allow over-30-month beef to enter the human food chain.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the direct health care costs, in current prices, of obesity (a) in the most recent year for which figures are available and (b) in 2050 or the latest year for which an estimate is available. 
Dawn Primarolo: In 2005 the Government asked the Government Office for Sciences Foresight programme to examine the scale of the obesity problem. They estimated that in 2007, the total cost to the national health service of diseases in which body mass index is a risk factor was £17.4 billion, of which obesity is estimated to account for £1 billion. The Foresight report anticipates that, at todays prices, the NHS cost of overweight and obesity could rise to £6.5 billion by 2050.
(3) what representations he has received from the Health Protection Agency on the use of the enriched culture medium (ECM) testing method for detecting Group B Strep in late pregnancy; and if he will bring forward proposals for the ECM test to be available on the NHS. 
Dawn Primarolo: Current policy, on advice from the United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is not to offer routine screening for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) carriage to all pregnant women, because there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that this would be beneficial. A cost benefit analysis would usually be commissioned only when the evidence supported screening.
The HTA report recommends that the current screening policy should not be changed without further research and that research to evaluate the efficacy of a vaccine for GBS should be prioritised. The researchers also recommend a revision of existing guidelines on current best practice; the RCOG is in the process of initiating a guideline review project which will consider the evidence generated since the first publication in 2003.
A GBS online learning package was produced in collaboration with the user groupGroup B Strep Support (GBSS)and others, which was launched in 2006. The learning package is based on RCOG guidelines and provides a comprehensive multidisciplinary interactive teaching resource which is freely available to all health care professionals at:
Patient information on GBS is available from NHS Direct Online and in the NHS Pregnancy Book (updated in 2006) which is distributed free to all pregnant women. The RCOG has also produced patient information.
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