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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): The analysis was commissioned by the West Midlands Strategic Health Authority after publication of a PhD thesis by a former student of the Department of Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, Harvard University School of Dental Medicine that claimed an association between fluoridated water and osteosarcoma in young males. The report of the analysis, Osteosarcoma Trends In the West Midlands, has not been published, but a copy has been placed in the Library. The West Midlands Cancer Intelligence Unit compared data held on its cancer registration database on the incidence of osteosarcoma in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas by age and sex over the period 1989 to 2005. There were only 211 cases found in the West Midlands in the 17-year period, with no trend in the data identifiable. The Unit accepts that case control studies would offer the best means by which the causes of ostesarcoma could be assessed but, with such low incidence, it would take a long time for significant results to appear.

Asked by Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Baroness Thornton: The Strategic Health Authority was referring to the letter in the Cancer Causes Journal in which the joint authors Professor Douglass and Professor Joshipura state:

"The Harvard School of Dental Medicine study of fluoride and osteosarcoma has been a 15-year collaboration among NIEHS1, NCI2, NDCR3 and Harvard. Two sets of cases have been collected each with their own control groups".

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The authors go on to state,

We understand that the researchers are continuing to process and check their findings before submitting a report for publication.


1 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

2 National Cancer Institute

3 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Green Public Procurement


Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The Collection of Statistical Information on green public procurement in the EU: report on methodologies that appears on the European Commission's website provides an overview of the level of green public procurement (GPP) in seven member states in the years 2006 and 2007, and sets out a methodology for measuring quantitative levels of GPP. The study includes a list of some of the labels or standards that meet broadly the same standards as EU green public procurement criteria in 10 product groups. Many of these labels are supported by websites that show the specific make for those products that meet their criteria. Both these websites, and other useful ones that are not linked to the labels listed in the study, are accessible by UK public authorities.

Health: Alternative Medicine


Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): The department has recently consulted on whether and, if so, how to regulate practitioners of acupuncture, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. The results of the consultation are currently being analysed and we expect a report to be submitted to Ministers in March 2010. Ministers will then make a decision on the way forward.

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Health: Medicines


Asked by Lord Patel of Blackburn

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): In the United Kingdom, medicines for human use are regulated by the Medicines Act 1968 and supporting regulations and are subject to a licensing regime, to protect patient health.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is responsible for the safety and licensing of medicines in the UK, regularly inspects authorised manufacturers, including importers, and distributors in the UK and conducts overseas inspections of manufacturers in third countries.

The MHRA has developed and implemented a comprehensive anti-counterfeiting strategy, which focuses on reducing the availability of counterfeit medical products in the UK and is available at: uk/Safetyinformation/Generalsafetyinformationand advice/Adviceandinformationforconsumers/Counterfeitmedicinesanddevices/index.htm

In December 2008, the European Commission published proposals for changes to the EU legislation to strengthen it from the threat of counterfeit medicines entering the supply chain. Those proposals are still under discussion with member states and the European Parliament and are available at:

Hillsborough Castle Agreement


Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The agreement at Hillsborough Castle was between the First and deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland leading their respective parties following all-party discussions at Hillsborough Castle. The agreement makes no claim about its legal standing. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

It is an agreement, not a legal document.

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Live Music


Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Davies of Oldham): The terms "professional musician" and "professional live music" were intended to be synonymous with the definition of "employment in live music performance" used by the Creative and Cultural Skills Council.

A minor clarification has been made to the article to reflect this.

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

Lord Davies of Oldham: The department did not consult the Musicians' Union and the Incorporated Society of Musicians on the numbers of professional musicians between 2005 and 2009 for this report.

However, the Musicians' Union website was searched for robust, publicly available employment statistics but none were found. The only data found meeting these criteria were hosted at the Creative and Cultural Skills website.

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Changes in live music 2005-2009 report neither estimated nor reported published data on total adult attendance at ticketed live music events. The attendance data published in the report were taken from the Department for Culture, Media and Sports' Taking Part survey.

This showed a significant increase between 2005-06 (when the survey started) and 2008-09 in both the proportion and number of adults in England who attended at least one live music event in the previous year. This included both ticketed and non-ticketed events.

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Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

Lord Davies of Oldham: The 2007 Survey of Live Music did not ask whether respondents were directly responsible for licence conversion as the survey was about staging live music and not the process of converting the licence.

Regarding knowledge of the Licensing Act, 43 per cent of respondents said that they knew a lot; 31 per cent said that they knew a little.

Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

Lord Davies of Oldham: The source of the information on page 6 of the original Department for Culture, Media and Sport report Changes in live music 2005-2009is taken from the Creative & Cultural Skills (CCS) studies of the industry carried out in 2006 and 2008.

The research is available on the CCS website:

A new version of the report has now been released that includes the source of the data.

Marine Environment: British Indian Ocean Territory


Asked by Lord Wallace of Saltaire

Lord Brett: Legal advice on the general concept of a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the British Indian Ocean Territory has been sought as normal within the FCO. Such advice is subject to legal privilege.

As part of the FCO public consultation into whether to create an MPA, we have received a number of responses raising legal queries. These responses will be published in a summary of responses after the consultation has closed unless the author has specifically requested that the information be withheld.

If it is decided in light of the consultation process that an MPA should be established, and there are favoured models for how it ought to be established, we

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will take legal advice in relation to those proposals. We are aware of our obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Any MPA that we seek to establish will be fully compliant with our international obligations.

National Archives


Asked by Baroness Henig

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with the department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Communities and Local Government, recently published Archives for the 21st Century, HM Government's strategy for archives. It sets out key recommendations to sustain and develop the archival health of the nation. In addition, The National Archives recently worked with the Business Archives Council and other professional bodies to produce a strategy for promoting the professional management of records and archives of the business community. The National Archives is currently working with public and private sector archives to support the implementation of both of these strategies. The National Archives also undertakes regular inspections of places of deposit for public records, and provides advice and guidance for the benefit of the wider archival sector.

The National Archives is an agency of the Ministry of Justice, reporting to the Secretary of State for Justice. The National Archives senior management team works closely with Ministry of Justice Ministers, and agrees an annual business plan and targets for their activities. They are currently operating under a five-year vision for the organisation that addresses its key challenges and has been discussed and agreed with Ministry of Justice Ministers.

Asked by Baroness Henig

Lord Bach: The National Archives has a wide range of users, including the public, information management professionals, academics and professional researchers and regularly invites feedback from them on its activities. This is done through a range of consultative mechanisms across the range of services it offers, including a monthly user forum and online user advisory panel, details of which can be found on the National Archives website. The National Archives has recently commissioned a review of the ways in which it engages with users.

Additionally, the Advisory Council, a statutory independent group chaired by the Master of the Rolls, provides formal advice on public access to records and

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the care of archives and manuscripts to the Lord Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Justice and the Chief Executive of The National Archives.

The National Archives has a broad remit covering all aspects of knowledge and information management, and the range of skills and qualifications of its senior management team reflects this. Senior managers within the organisation are qualified archivists, information managers, teachers, librarians, and human resources and finance professionals.

National Insurance


Asked by Baroness Warsi

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Department for Work and Pensions has the responsibility for the allocation of national insurance numbers to adults.

The department does not issue national insurance numbers to illegal immigrants.

The department conducts thorough identity and immigration status checks on applications for national insurance numbers from foreign nationals. The department works closely with the UK Border Agency to identify illegal immigrants and an applicant who could not demonstrate that they were in this country legally would not be given a national insurance number.

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