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The HFEA does not hold information centrally about the percentages of embryos specifically created for research and which were cultured as outgrowing embryos. HFEA inspection reports record information about the research projects being undertaken at any particular centre. The inspection reports are available on the HFEA website.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 9 March (WA 2045), why an embryo that has been left to outgrow for more than 14 days is no longer considered to be an embryo by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, if every embryo created in the laboratory otherwise falls within regulation, regardless of its potential for development. [HL2056]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 21 April 2008 (WA 23334) and 9 March (WA 2045), why a relationship between extra-embryonic and embryonic tissue is considered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to be pivotal to the definition of an embryo grown for more than 14 days when a cloned embryo that lacks the potential to form extra-embryonic tissue is considered as an embryo within the HFEA's regulatory remit. [HL2057]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many human embryos are destroyed or experimented upon in the United Kingdom each year; of those, how many are destroyed when couples terminate their relationship; and how many are destroyed after one partner in a relationship withdraws their consent for embryos to remain stored. [HL2129]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many human embryos are currently stored in the United Kingdom; and what research they have commissioned about the effects of long-term storage of human embryos on the viability of the embryo. [HL2130]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 9 March (WA 20405), how the Human Fertilisation
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Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised me that its Scientific and Clinical Advances Committee is of the view that although the embryonic masses that form when embryos outgrow their structure would not develop a primitive streak, it is possible that primitive streak like cells may be detectable. The HFEA and its Scientific and Clinical Advances Committee are as one on this question.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 24 February (WA 40) concerning their policy to promote anti-discrimination measures in other countries, what representations they have made to the Republic of Ireland since 1997 concerning human rights in that country. [HL1824]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government have made no formal representations to the Government of Ireland since 1997 concerning human rights. However, human rights issues have been discussed, at ministerial and official level, during meetings of the British-Irish Inter-governmental Conference since its establishment in 1999.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Food Standards Agency published voluntary best practice guidance on origin labelling in 2002. This guidance aims to establish clear and transparent origin labelling across the food sector. Uptake of the guidance was reviewed in 2006 and the guidance was revised and re-issued in 2008. The Government are keen to encourage further uptake of this guidance and as part of this will be commissioning further work this year to assess industry uptake of the guidance.
Food labelling is an area of European Commission competence. A food information regulation was proposed by the Commission in 2008 and is being discussed in both the European Parliament and the European Council. Discussions are at an early stage on the origin labelling elements of the proposal.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they are accountable to Parliament for their foreign policy decisions; and whether they have considered alternative additional mechanisms to increase accountability. [HL2288]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Ministers are held to account for foreign policy decisions through all the normal mechanisms: debates in both Houses; Parliamentary Questions; the work of Select Committees, security committees and the Intelligence and Security Committee. It would be for Parliament to decide whether additional mechanisms are needed.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We are keen to ensure that the voices of developing regions are heard at the London summit of G20 leaders. That is why we decided to invite Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia as chair of New Economic Partnership for African Development and Prime Minister Abhisit in his capacity as the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Jean Ping, of the African Union (AU) Commission, and Dr Surin, chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, will also accompany further to extend the representation from developing regions. I attended the AU summit at the end of February to seek views from African Leaders directly.
We recognise the importance of protecting the poorest during the economic downturn and are pushing for a renewed and strengthened commitment to refrain from protectionist measures, with a monitoring mechanism to hold countries to account for this pledge. Actions at the London summit to stabilise the financial system and build foundations for sustaining and strengthening global growth are essential in order to achieve this. In that sense it will be more important to ensure that growth during the economic recovery helps the poor as well as helping more developed countries.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will respond to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust's campaign to enhance management of game and wildlife rather than traditional protection. [HL2123]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are aware of the work that the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust does in promoting the conservation of game and wildlife, and conducting research into game and wildlife management.
Wildlife management, which necessarily encompasses elements of both protection and control, is vital to maintain healthy populations of our native species. We support all efforts to manage other interests, such as game, in a way that is mutually beneficial to both that interest and wildlife.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Through the Pacesetters programme, the department is working with 18 National Health Service organisations and local communities in different parts of England to improve the health status of Gypsies and Travellers. The work is based on a range of projects aimed at raising the awareness of NHS staff to the needs and circumstances of these communities, improving access to primary and secondary care, and ensuring that individual health records for community members are up-to-date. The projects are being evaluated by the University of Sheffield and results will become available in 2010-11. Evidenced good practice and learning will be disseminated widely throughout the NHS.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in providing training for all clinicians in primary and relevant secondary care settings to identify risk and the early symptoms of HIV infection, in line with new United Kingdom national HIV testing guidelines. [HL2027]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in light of the new United Kingdom national HIV testing guidelines, training will be provided for all healthcare professionals in primary and relevant secondary care settings on HIV testing to increase the numbers of people diagnosed and decrease the proportion of those diagnosed late. [HL2028]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The department funded the production of a guide, HIV for non-HIV specialists: Diagnosing the undiagnosed, published in 2008,by the Medical Foundation for AIDS And Sexual Health (MedFASH) . Following this publication,
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To support the rollout of the UK National Guidelines for HIV Testing 2008, produced by the British HIV Association, the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV and the British Infection Society, the department is funding eight new pilot projects to explore HIV testing in a variety of settings, in order to reduce the level of undiagnosed HIV and late diagnosis of HIV in the population.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the result of the Ministry of Defence inquiry into the collision in early February of the nuclear submarine vessels HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant in the Bay of Biscay; and whether the conclusions will be made public. [HL2124]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The report of the inquiry into the incident involving HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant is expected shortly. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence will then consider what and how to report to Parliament, bearing in mind the need to protect information in the interests of national security.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 11 March (WA 257) concerning their assessment of human rights in foreign countries, what representations they have made to the Government of the Republic of Ireland concerning that Government's policy of only allowing Irish speakers to live in certain areas of the country and to obtain employment in the public sector. [HL2208]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 13 March (WA 287), which stakeholders they work with to promote human rights in the Republic of Ireland. [HL2262]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The legislation that allows a request to be made that unlawfully terrorism-related material is modified or removed from the internet is Section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Section 3 allows for the service of a notice by a constable, where he or she is of the opinion that unlawfully terrorism-related material is available on an electronic service such as a website, on the person(s) responsible for that material. The notice requires that the unlawfully terrorism-related material is removed or modified within two working days.
However, the preferred route of the police is to use informal contact with the communication service providers to request that the material is removed. To date no Section 3 notices have been issued as this informal route has proved effective but statistics covering the number of sites removed through such informal contact are not collected.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ban the filming of media interviews while the interviewee is driving a vehicle on a public road; and what representations they have made to the television industry on that issue. [HL2136]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): Under current broadcasting arrangements, responsibility for what is broadcast on television and radio rests with the broadcasters and the organisations that regulate broadcastingthe Office of Communications (Ofcom), the BBC Trust and the Welsh Fourth Channel Authority (S4C). It is a long-standing principle that the Government do not interfere in programme matters, either on arrangements for scheduling or on content.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 10 March (WA 23637) concerning passports issued in the Republic of Ireland, in what form the records of applications for British passports received at the British embassy in Dublin are held; who calculated
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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The records of passport applications received at our embassy in Dublin are held in paper form and also on the electronic passport issuing system.
The electronic system is not configured to calculate the number of people with addresses in the Republic of Ireland granted British passports, as requested by the noble Lord in his earlier Question. This would have to be done manually by checking all 53,222 of the paper applications for British passports issued by our embassy in Dublin over the past five years.
The disproportionate cost threshold is set at £700. Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office assessed that the additional work required to manually search for this information would breach this threshold.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average time between application and payment of pension credit in each month of the past two years; and what was the average time taken to complete the processing of pension credit claims from when the initial application was received in each month of the past two years, broken down by pension centre. [HL1693]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Data on the clearance times of pension credit, measured from the initial date of contact, are currently not reported.
The tables below detail the average actual clearance time (AACT) for pension credit, monthly for the past two years, by pension centre. The AACT is calculated by dividing the total number of working days taken to clear cases by the total number of cases cleared.
|Pension Credit Clearance Times|
|Average Actual Clearance Time National Target15 Days|
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