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Organophosphate Sheep Dips

Baroness Rendell of Babergh asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Lord Donoughue): We have received advice from the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) on the implications of the IOM report for marketing authorisations of OPs and, in particular, OP sheep dips. A copy of the VPC's advice has been placed in the Library of the House.

We have accepted the VPC's recommendation that marketing authorisation holders should be asked to submit practical and workable plans to improve and standardise the design of sheep dip containers with the objective of minimising operator contact with OP concentrate. If such plans are not submitted within three months, action will be commenced to revoke marketing authorisations.

We have also accepted recommendations on emphasising the importance of handling OP concentrate safely in advice to farmers and in training and the examination which leads to the issue of a certificate of competence. We are giving urgent consideration to the recommendation that handlers of OP sheep dip concentrate should be required to hold a certificate of competence.

The VPC made it clear that this is interim advice. The VPC will be offering further advice together with COT and the other independent advisory committees before the end of the year.

Medicinal Products: Borderline Cases

Lord Acton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the outcome of their consideration of the public response to the Medicines Control Agency's proposals for classifying borderline products, as published in its consultation letter MLX 249.[HL3715]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): We have carefully considered all the areas of concern raised by respondents in what has been a very active consultation process. We will be announcing our detailed response on specific issues and we will be responding positively

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to all the main concerns raised. There has never been any intention to, and there is no effect in these proposals that would, change the definition of a medicinal product. The Government's intention is to ensure that the legal obligation to protect public health is safeguarded while maintaining public access to a range of safe dietary supplements and natural products.

Medicines Commission: Annual Report

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect to receive the Annual Report of the Medicines Commission for 1998; and whether this will be published.[HL3720]

Baroness Hayman: We have received the report, and copies have been laid before both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the requirements of Section 5(2) of the Medicines Act 1968.

Bound and published volumes have been placed in the Library containing the 1998 reports of the Medicines Commission, the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the Advisory Board on the Registration of Homeopathic Products, the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Veterinary Products Committee.

We are pleased to acknowledge the valuable work undertaken by the distinguished members of the Medicines Act advisory boards and thank them for the time and considerable effort dedicated in the public interest to this important work.

Medicines Control Agency: Annual Report

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they intend to publish the Annual Report and Accounts of the Medicines Control Agency.[HL3719]

Baroness Hayman: We have received the report and copies have been laid before both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the requirements of Section 5(2) and (3) of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921. Copies have also been placed in the Library.



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