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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 20 July 2009 (WA 280), what advice if any they
6 Apr 2010 : Column WA399
Baroness Thornton: I have been advised that only a small proportion of the adult population sampled in the National Diet and Nutrition Survey would have exceeded upper limits on fluoride consumption recommended by the European Food Safety Authority and the American Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. Birmingham has been fluoridated since the 1960s and there are areas of the United States of America that have been fluoridated since the late 1940s, but no long-term effects on health have been identified. Some ingested fluoride is taken up in the bones, but the systematic review of water fluoridation conducted by the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination of the University of York found no association between water fluoridation and bone fracture.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 22 February (WA 227-28) and 22 March (WA 246), whether Ministers of the Crown are entitled to seek to influence the advice given by or conduct of Law Officers of the Crown on matters of law or the public interest. [HL3100]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 16 March (WA 163), whether they will set out the visits by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to the United States since 1 January in advance of the annual publication of foreign visits by Cabinet Ministers by the Cabinet Office. [HL2981]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times during the past four years (a) the Prime Minister, (b) the Foreign Secretary, and (c) other ministers, met (1) the President, the Prime Minister or other ministers from the Republic of Cyprus,
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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): It would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold to establish exactly how many meetings had taken place over the last four years. However, the Government maintain frequent dialogue at ministerial level with the Republic of Cyprus both bilaterally and in multilateral fora such as EU meetings. The Government hold meetings with Mr Talat as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, in relation to the Cyprus problem. Most recently, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister met both leaders during their separate visits to London late last year, while my honourable friend the Minister for Europe met both leaders during his visit to the island in November 2009. The Government's continued engagement with all parties involved in the settlement process, including Greece and Turkey, reflects the UK's commitment to supporting a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.
Lord Brett: International agencies in Haiti continue to provide humanitarian relief. The UK has significantly supported this, including by sending a UK search and rescue team and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship, which has delivered equipment, vehicles and other food and non-food items. The UK has provided £20 million for humanitarian support and a UK team remains in Port-au-Prince to oversee delivery of this aid, which has already helped to support more than 380,000 people.
In anticipation of the reconstruction of Haiti, the UK: provided a humanitarian expert for the team that has produced a draft post-disaster needs assessment; has earmarked a further £2 million for future disaster risk reduction interventions; and, through the Stabilisation Unit, is assisting the Haitian Ministry of Justice to reconstruct three prisons. Several multilateral organisations have already announced support to Haiti's reconstruction. This includes €200 million from the European Commission, $100 million from the World Bank and $120 million from the Inter-American Development Bank. The UK's share of the reconstruction funding announced by these organisations amounts to approximately $50 million.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what arrangements are in place for co-ordinating international assistance in the regeneration of Haiti; and what is the role of the United Nations and non-governmental organisations in that. [HL2952]
Lord Brett: The Government of Haiti will lead the co-ordination of international assistance for reconstruction after the earthquake. We expect the Government to be supported in this co-ordination effort by the UN, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Other donors, agencies and NGOs will contribute to reconstruction under the co-ordination of the Government. The reconstruction conference on 31 March is expected to set out how this co-ordination will be organised.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): We are currently funding a trial to compare targeted intra-operative radiotherapy with conventional post-operative radiotherapy for women with early breast cancer through the National Institute for Health Research.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many cases of transfusion-transmitted infections have been reported in each year since the inception of the United Kingdom Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) haemovigilance programme in 2006; what were the infectious organisms; and how many fatalities have occurred. [HL3085]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): Reports of suspected transfusion-transmitted infections are made to both the NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)/Health Protection Agency (HPA) Epidemiology Unit and to the Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) scheme. Data are collated by the NHSBT/HPA Epidemiology Unit.
The following table shows all transfusion-transmitted infections reported to either or both schemes between October 1996 (the inception of the SHOT scheme) and December 2009. Data to 2008 are also available in the SHOT Report 2008, published at www.shotuk.org.
Number of transfusion-transmitted infections reported to the NHSBT/HPA Epidemiology Unit and/or SHOT, by year of report and infection, October 1996 to December 2009. The total number of infected recipients is shown, with the number of those recipients having died shown in brackets.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they have taken to prevent transfusion-transmitted infections; and what consideration is given to emerging pathogens and those whose range will be extended by climate change. [HL3086]
Baroness Thornton: All blood establishments must comply with the Blood Safety and Quality Regulations (2005), as amended. The principal measure to protect patients against transfusion-transmitted infections is the careful selection of blood donors, supplemented by methods to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during the collection of blood, and specific testing for evidence of infections which can be transmitted by blood.
The UK blood services are advised on the risks to the United Kingdom blood supply from outbreaks of infection and emerging infections both within and outside the UK by a specialist committee, the Standing Advisory Committee on Transfusion Transmitted Infection (SACTTI). SACTTI has well established national and international links with other blood services and with communicable disease organisations such as the Health Protection Agency.
A list of general blood safety measures can be found on the website for the Joint Professional Advisory Committee to the United Kingdom Blood Transfusion Services at www.transfusionguidelines.org.uk/index.aspx? Publication=DL&Section=12&pageid=389.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House copies of the Department of Health memoranda from 1985 about patients with haemophilia who contracted HIV and hepatitis C from blood transfusions, as reported in the Guardian on 23 March. [HL3098]
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