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Merchant Shipping Regulations

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): I will write to the noble Lord in due course and place a copy of my letter in the Library.

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English Sports Council: Lottery Agreement

Lord Faulkner of Worcester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What were the legal costs incurred by the English Sports Council in drawing up and concluding the lottery agreement with English National Stadium Development Company and the Football Association.[HL687]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: A review by the ESC audit committee of the fees spent on the national stadium project to March 1999 when the lottery funding agreement was signed confirmed the costs as £2.222 million.

Lympne Industrial Park

Lord Moynihan asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to Lord McIntosh of Haringey's offer to write to Lord Moynihan on the subject of Lympne industrial park (H.L. Deb., 14 October 1999, col. 597), when they expect such a letter to be forthcoming.[HL674]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I wrote to the noble Lord on 29 October informing him that a substantive reply to his letter would be sent by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, which has lead responsibility for the matters raised. I understand that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at DETR (Beverley Hughes) wrote to the noble Lord on 13 January.

Cancer Treatment and Research

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their current annual per capita spend on cancer treatment and research; and how this compares with other European countries.[HL355]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Information showing current annual per capita spend on cancer treatment is not available. However, cancer services are estimated to account for 6.3 per cent (£1,479 million) of National Health Service hospital expenditure in England. This excludes cancer services not normally provided on an in-patient basis, for example, cancer screening, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and community palliative care services.

In addition to this, the Department of Health has commissioned work to improve overall NHS information, including national statistics on hospital prescribing, which will give us a more accurate method of recording hospital expenditure on cancer treatment.

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It is estimated that United Kingdom expenditure on cancer research is approximately £110 million per annum.

Comparable information is not available for other European countries.


Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Given their commitment to midwifery team work, what assurances they can give that midwives will be involved in the drawing up of clinical guidelines.[HL761]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: It is sound professional practice to involve all healthcare professionals in the development of clinical guidelines. Health Service Circular 1998/999, relating to the recommendations from the last Report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths states, "Each unit must identify a lead professional to develop and regularly update local multidisciplinary guidelines for the management of obstetric problems". Midwives must therefore be involved in drawing up relevant clinical guidelines.

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How their outline of health improvement programmes which reveal a substantive input from midwives and users will be implemented to enable the voice of midwives to be heard.[HL762]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The development of health improvement programmes is led by the health authority in partnership with the whole range of local interests, including those who provide local services for the National Health Service. This will include staff working in NHS trusts and primary care. Midwives will be encouraged to contribute on issues which impact on their work areas.

Baroness Cumberlege asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What they are doing to implement the principles of midwifery-led care as detailed in the report of the expert group Changing Childbirth.[HL763]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The Government are fully committed to the principles of high quality woman centred maternity care enshrined in the Changing Childbirth report--now largely embedded in mainstream practice.

A report highlighting the achievements and lessons learned from the Changing Childbirth initiative was published in August 1998 and widely promulgated to the National Health Service. Copies have been placed in the Library.

The Government have a wide-ranging programme of action in hand to secure further improvements in maternity services through their wider initiatives to

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modernise the National Health Service, improve public health and strengthen family life.

Timber Products: Labelling

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What contribution they are making to the development of a universal labelling system for forest products from certified sources.[HL740]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): We are participating in several formal and informal international discussions on the labelling of timber products. Through the Forestry Commission we have facilitated the development of the United Kingdom Woodland Assurance Scheme, which provides a standard for the independent assessment of forest management in the UK. It is a model for other countries to follow and puts the UK at the forefront of global forest certification.


Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What are the minimum requirements for carrying out official examinations of tests and trials of those varieties of maize in respect of which an application has been made for entry onto a national list; and whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the documents setting out the requirements for such examinations.[HL774]

Baroness Hayman: Regulation 11(1) of the Seeds (National Lists of Varieties) Regulations 1982 (as amended) requires Ministers "to conduct or make arrangements for such tests and trials of a plant variety which is the subject of an application for entry in a National List as appears to them to be necessary to establish that it conforms to the requirements of schedule 2 of these regulations". Schedule 2 sets out the requirements that a candidate variety must be distinct, uniform and stable (DUS) and, for agricultural varieties, have a value for cultivation and use (VCU) in the UK. In making the arrangements referred to above, Ministers require VCU trials to be conducted in accordance with an official protocol. Such protocols are subject to regular review by the testing authorities.

DUS tests for maize are carried out in France under a bilateral agreement with the French testing authorities which submit a DUS report to the UK authorities.

A copy of the current VCU protocol for forage maize has been placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Beaumont of Whitley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there has been any import into the United Kingdom of genetically modified maize

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    covered by Commission Decision 98/293/EC dated 22 April 1998; and, if so, whether they will provide details.[HL776]

Baroness Hayman: Genetically modified (GM) maize covered by Commission Decision 98/293/EC has been grown commercially in the US since 1998. Since it is not segregated from conventionally produced maize, it is likely that most imports into the UK from this source since 1998 will have contained some of the GM variety. Most maize comes into the country in the form of processed products, such as maize gluten, for use in animal feed. Previous work has shown that such processing breaks down the genetic material into very small fragments of DNA.

Food Products: Country of Origin Labelling

Baroness Nicol asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What action they are taking to curb misleading country of origin labelling on food products.[HL850]

Baroness Hayman: Following consultation of the food industry and enforcement authorities, we have

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issued revised guidance notes on origin labelling to ensure that consumers are not misled about the true origin of the food they buy. A copy of the guidance notes has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Meat Industry: Red Tape Review

Baroness Crawley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will announce their responses to the Red Tape Review reports on the meat industry integrated administration and control system (IACS) and inspections and the intervention system.[HL852]

Baroness Hayman: The Government welcomed the three reports, prepared as key parts of the review of regulatory burdens on agriculture. We have placed in the Library of the House action plans which set out the Government's responses to the 107 recommendations in the reports. We have accepted 98 of the 107 recommendations. We shall be giving recommendations further consideration, and will do so as rapidly as possible. Of the 98 recommendations we have accepted, we shall be pursuing 23 in Brussels to seek changes in the basic legal provisions.

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