Food Standards Bill - continued        House of Lords

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Miscellaneous provisions
Statutory functions ceasing to be exercisable by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.     26. - (1) The functions of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food under-
 
 
    (a) Part I of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985;
 
    (b) the 1990 Act; and
 
    (c) the Radioactive Substances Act 1993,
  shall cease to be exercisable by that Minister.
 
      (2) The functions of the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland under-
 
 
    (a) Part I of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985; and
 
    (b) Part II of the 1991 Order (except Articles 8(7), 10(5) to (7), 11(5) to (10), 18(1), 22 and 25(2)(e) and Schedule 1),
  shall cease to be exercisable by that Department.
 
      (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not affect enforcement functions under directions or subordinate legislation under the enactments mentioned in those subsections (or any power under those enactments to confer such functions in directions or subordinate legislation).
 
Notification of tests for food-borne disease.     27. - (1) Regulations may make provision for requiring the notification of information about tests on samples taken from individuals (whether living or dead) for the presence of-
 
 
    (a) organisms of a description specified in the regulations; or
 
    (b) any substances produced by or in response to the presence of organisms of a description so specified.
      (2) A description of organisms may be specified in the regulations only if it appears to the authority making the regulations that those organisms or any substances produced by them-
 
 
    (a) are capable of causing disease in humans; and
 
    (b) are commonly transmitted to humans through the consumption of food.
      (3) The power to make the regulations is exercisable for the purpose of facilitating the carrying out of functions of the Agency or any other public authority which relate to the protection of public health.
 
      (4) The regulations shall, as respects each specified description of organisms-
 
 
    (a) specify the information to be notified about them and the form and manner in which it is to be notified;
 
    (b) make provision for identifying the person by whom that information is to be notified; and
 
    (c) specify the person to whom that information is to be notified;
  but the regulations may not require a person to notify information which is not in his possession, or otherwise available to him, by virtue of his position.
 
      (5) The regulations may-
 
 
    (a) make provision as to the tests about which information is to be notified;
 
    (b) require or permit the person specified under subsection (4)(c) to disclose any information to any other person or to publish it;
 
    (c) restrict the purposes for which any information may be used (whether by the person so specified or by any other person);
 
    (d) make provision with a view to ensuring that patient confidentiality is preserved;
 
    (e) create exceptions from any provision of the regulations;
 
    (f) create summary offences, subject to the limitation that no such offence shall be punishable with imprisonment or a fine exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.
      (6) Before making regulations under this section the authority making them shall consult the Agency and such organisations as appear to the authority to be representative of interests likely to be substantially affected by the regulations.
 
      (7) Any consultation undertaken before the commencement of subsection (6) shall be as effective, for the purposes of that subsection, as if undertaken after that commencement.
 
      (8) The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable-
 
 
    (a) as respects tests carried out in England, by the Secretary of State;
 
    (b) as respects tests carried out in Wales, by the National Assembly for Wales;
 
    (c) as respects tests carried out in Scotland, by the Scottish Ministers; and
 
    (d) as respects tests carried out in Northern Ireland, by the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland.
Arrangements for sharing information about food-borne zoonoses.     28. - (1) The Agency and each authority to which this section applies with responsibility for any matter connected with food-borne zoonoses shall make arrangements with a view to securing (so far as reasonably practicable) that any information relating to food-borne zoonoses in the possession of either of them is furnished or made available to the other.
 
      (2) The authorities to which this section applies are Ministers of the Crown, the National Assembly for Wales, Scottish Ministers and Northern Ireland Departments.
 
      (3) Arrangements under this section may also include arrangements for co-ordinating the activities of the Agency and the authority concerned in relation to matters connected with food-borne zoonoses.
 
      (4) Arrangements under this section shall be kept under review by the Agency and the authority concerned.
 
      (5) In this section "food-borne zoonosis" means any disease of, or organism carried by, animals which constitutes a risk to the health of humans through the consumption of, or contact with, food.
 
Consultation on veterinary products.     29. - (1) The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and each Secretary of State having responsibility for any matters connected with the regulation of veterinary products, shall consult the Agency from time to time about the general policy he proposes to pursue in carrying out his functions in relation to those matters.
 
      (2) In this section "veterinary products" means-
 
 
    (a) veterinary drugs, as defined in section 132(1) of the Medicines Act 1968;
 
    (b) veterinary medicinal products, as defined in Article 1(2) of Council Directive 81/851/EEC (including products manufactured from homeopathic stock);
 
    (c) medicated feedingstuffs, as defined in Article 1(2) of Council Directive 81/851/EEC;
 
    (d) zootechnical products, as defined in regulation 2(1) of the Feedingstuffs (Zootechnical Products) Regulations 1999.
      (3) The Minister or the Secretary of State concerned may disclose any information to the Agency (including information obtained by or furnished to him in pursuance of any enactment) relating to matters connected with the regulation of veterinary products.
 
      (4) This section applies to the Department of Health and Social Services for Northern Ireland and the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland as it applies to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
 
 
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Prepared 29 October 1999