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Miss Melanie Johnson:
In April of this year, the Department published the Chief Medical Officer's report, "At least five a week", which sets out the
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evidence for the health benefits of physical activity in childhood and adolescence. The report included the recommendation that:
Children and young people should achieve a total of at least 60 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity each day. At least twice a week this should include activities to improve bone health (activities that produce high physical stresses on the bones), muscle strength and flexibility.
Prevalence of activity and inactivity among children and young people is measured as part of the Health Survey for England. In 2002, the last year for which data are available, 70 per cent. of boys and 61 per cent. of girls met the recommendation.
The benefits of physical activity for young people are not restricted to health. Physical activity in schools can improve academic achievement. Community sport and activity-based programmes for young people, such as "Positive Futures", can help to increase social inclusion.
Between 6 May and 30 June 2004 the Government have consulted on their future physical activity programme in the "Choosing Health? Choosing Activity" document as part of the broader "Choosing Health?" consultation process. The responses will inform the preparation of the Public Health White Paper, which will be published in the autumn and will set out action to address a range of health issues including priorities for increasing physical activity in children and young people.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health by whom the United Kingdom was represented at the European Union Member State Working Group meeting held on 23 June to consider the labelling of products made using genetically modified micro-organisms; what the outcome of the meeting was; what his objectives are for the final outcome of these discussions; what further action he intends to take to promote the achievement of those objectives prior to future developments within the European Union; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Two officials from the Food Standards Agency attended the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Healthsection on genetically modified (GM) organisms on 23 June 2004. No decision was made on the scope of Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 GM Food and Feed, with regards to products made using genetically modified micro-organisms. The European Commission will forward a position paper in due course to inform further discussion and a decision on this topic at a future Standing Committee meeting.
The Government's position on GM labelling is that the relevant legislation should be practical, proportionate and enforceable. The Government will continue to maintain this position in discussions on the labelling of GM products, which fall within the scope of the EC GM Food and Feed Regulation (No. 1829/2003).
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Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what research he has commissioned on the impact on the incidence of leukaemia among children aged up to one year who might be exposed while in the womb to radiation doses arising from major radiation leaks; 
(2) if his Department will investigate variations in public health in relation to the proximity to areas of radioactive contamination; and whether the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment has investigated such variations, with particular reference to the Blackwater estuary; 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department has not commissioned such research. However, it has asked the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) to examine the level of childhood cancer around all major nuclear installations in Great Britain to see if there is a different pattern of incidence in those areas, compared with that found elsewhere in the country. Its report is expected to be published in October of this year. COMARE has already advised on two separate studies of cancer in the Bradwell area. Details are available on the COMARE website: www.comare.org.uk
Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason student loans are regarded as income for the purpose of assessment for NHS health benefits; and whether loans other than student loans are regarded as income for this purpose. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: It is Government policy that funding for student support should be made available from public funds through loans from the Student Loans Company. Resources available for student support from public funds cannot be ignored when calculating entitlement to help from any other public funds. Commercial loans would not be regarded as income.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the waiting times for (a) heart surgery, (b) orthopaedics, (c) opthalmology and (d) cancer treatment were in Warrington in each year since 1997. 
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to place the operation of the four Area Child Protection Committees in Northern Ireland on a statutory footing. 
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is currently developing a Strategy for Children and Young People in Need which will consider a wide range of child protection matters including placing Area Child Protection Committees on
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a statutory footing. Decisions on the need for primary legislation will follow on from the completion of the strategy.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether health trusts in the province are required to assess patients for fully-funded continuing care prior to discharge. 
Angela Smith: In Northern Ireland, decisions about discharge from acute hospital care for patients with continuing care needs, including those who may require fully-funded continuing health care, must be made following a comprehensive assessment by clinicians and social care professionals.
Angela Smith: The Department has established a Regional Diabetes Steering Group, which includes representatives of each HSS Board, to oversee the progress made by each Board in implementing the recommendations of the Crest Taskforce Report on the development of services for people with diabetes. The Steering Group has already met on two occasions to consider the local implementation plans developed by Boards and will continue to monitor the implementation process.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases were heard at (a) employment and (b) industrial tribunals in Northern Ireland in the months from January to June inclusive in each year since 2001. 
Mr. Gardiner: The Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal maintains statistics on the number of cases disposed of each month, rather than the number of cases heard. The available figures are as follows:
The information sought by the hon. Member in relation to 2001 is not readily available and may take some time to collate. I will write to him with the information as soon as it is available. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.
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