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Embryology

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department has not asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for advice regarding the efficacy of stem cell derivation from outgrown embryos. It would be for the HFEA to form a view on this technique, if it were appropriate, to assess the validity of a licence application.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: This information is not collected centrally.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: No licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) permits centres to culture live human embryos beyond 14 days or the appearance of the primitive streak, in accordance with Sections 3(3)(a) and 3(4) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990. Entities which form when human embryos are allowed to outgrow their structure are not classed as live human embryos and do not breach Sections 3(3)(a) and 3(4) of the 1990 HFE Act.

This is because the entities do not have the organisation structure of a viable embryo and are not representative of a 3D suspended embryo undergoing gastrulation (the stage of development during which the primitive streak emerges). The HFEA has issued licences to two

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centres (St Mary's Manchester and Roslin Cells Limited) that allow embryos to outgrow in this way in order to extract the inner cell mass.

One research project (at Guy's Hospital, London) has been licensed by the HFEA under several purposes, including increasing knowledge about the development of embryos.

It is a condition of an HFEA research licence that if a stem cell is derived a sample of the line has to be deposited in the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank. The HFEA is aware that 35 stem cell lines have been derived under HFEA licences. Information on the lines that have been deposited and the number of lines awaiting to be deposited can be found on the UK Stem Cell Bank website at: www.ukstemcellbank.org.uk.

Equality Commission: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Baroness Crawley: The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is an independent body. As Lord Rooker set out in his Answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, col. WA192, the sponsorship of the commission is a matter for the devolved Administration.

Essex

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): My noble friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment is looking forward to visiting Essex in October. The then DTI Ministers responsible for Energy, Science and Innovation, Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs all made visits to Essex as have many officials although as there is no central record of these we are unable to provide further details.

EU: Data Retention Directive

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty’s Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): In October 2007, the Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2007 came into force, completing the initial transposition of the European data retention directive. We plan to consult publicly before transposing the remainder of the directive to come into effect on 1 April 2009.

Fertility Treatment

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has informed the department that it assesses the overall incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) in the United Kingdom and has recently commissioned Professor Adam Balen to update his 2005 report into OHSS following fertility treatment. However, the HFEA does not collect detailed clinical information about individual patients going through in vitro fertilisation treatment, such as their treating clinician’s assessment of their propensity to develop OHSS, and so does not hold the information requested.

Copies of Professor Balen's 2005 report have been placed in the Library.



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Food: Pork and Bacon

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The policy of Department for Communities and Local Government is to use the procurement best practice guidance that encourages consideration of sustainable procurement activities, including the use of small to medium enterprises and the third sector. All procurement is undertaken in line with the European Commission's procurement rules and to obtain value for money. British products are used where possible.

Figures on the proportion of British pork and bacon purchased by my department are included in the report, Proportion of domestically produced food used by government departments and also supplied to hospitals and prisons under contracts negotiated by NHS Supply Chain and HM Prison Service, which is available on the PSFPI web site at http://www. defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/pdf/govtfood-usage.pdf. Up-to-date data will become available towards the end of the year when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs plans to publish a new report.

Catering services for Communities and Local Government are provided as part of the department's facilities management contract. Our caterer strives to ensure that it is buying and partnering with suppliers who are concerned about both the environment and animal welfare. The following bodies are some of the accreditation they look for: Assured Food Standards (Red Tractor Mark); the Soil Association; the National Association for Catering Butchers; the British Cheese Awards; the Freedom Food welfare scheme; and the Marine Conservation Society.

Our caterer aims to provide menus which are nutritionally balanced, appetising and built around variety, while using ingredients that are lower in saturated fat, salt and added sugar.

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): The department's contract with our catering service provider, Baxter Storey, ensures that it complies with the Public

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Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI) and that it procures from local sources wherever possible. They states that 100 per cent of its fresh pork purchased is of British origin, as is 75 per cent of bacon. Monthly meetings with the catering contractor are held to monitor general progress in delivering PSFPI objectives, including action to ensure that the bacon and pork served meets UK welfare standards. Purchasing policy is also reviewed at these meetings.

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Department for Transport does not purchase food centrally. All food procurement at the very few directly managed catering facilities within the department is undertaken in line with the EU’s procurement rules and to obtain value for money.

At departmental level, 33.5 per cent of bacon and 98.5 per cent of pork is domestically sourced, as published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) at: www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/pdf/govt-food-usage.pdf.

Updated information will be published by Defra later this year.

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: Food is supplied to HM Treasury as part of the catering service provided by its PFI provider at 1 Horse Guards Road. The Treasury encourages the PFI provider to adopt the objectives of the PSFPI. One hundred per cent of pork supplied is reared and farmed in the UK. Forty per cent of bacon comes from UK sources, and the PFI provider is working hard with its suppliers to increase this proportion. The PFI provider’s policy is to aim to source meat products of the highest quality and in accordance with UK welfare regulations for animal husbandry and welfare. It keeps its purchasing policy under regular review.

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Department inclusive of its agencies does not contract directly for food supplies but procures catering services through wider facilities management (FM) or operational service contractors. To obtain information on what proportion of pork and bacon the department purchased is British would incur disproportionate costs.

When placing a contract with FM or operational services contractors, government guidance on sustainable food and farming is incorporated in appropriate terms and conditions with regards to the procurement of food. Purchasing policy is reviewed frequently to incorporate new policy initiatives.

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is currently working alongside other public sector bodies with the Food Quality Standards Group, a sub-group of the Food Procurement Group (FPG) working towards common agreement on commodity group standards. This work is nearing completion and will lead to a submission to the FPG.

The MoJ makes use of the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs catering toolkit and the model specification clause covering farm assurance standards, animal welfare and other standards of production, plus food safety.

The guide Putting it into Practice on the PSFPI website is also a source of information used by the MoJ: www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/ resources.htm.

The MoJ also includes a requirement for contractors to evidence how they will implement the public sector food procurement initiative within the evaluation criteria of any competitions for the supply of foodstuff.

The proportion of pork and bacon purchased that is British is answered within the Defra report at www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/pdf/govt-food-usage.pdf. This report is also referenced in the British Pig Executive report, Is the Government Buying British?. Defra again proposes to publish data by the end of 2008 on the proportion of domestically produced food used by government departments for the period July to June.



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