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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: It is Government policy to support artistic excellence, innovation and access at all levels through the Arts Council of England, which is directly responsible for funding contemporary visual artists and their work. In addition, the Arts Council Collection is the largest national loan collection of post-war British art. The collection aims to buy new and challenging work from artists working in Britain and possesses the work of over 1,700 artists. The collection is used by universities, colleges, local authorities, law courts and hospitals as well as by art galleries.
Over the last two and a half years the amount of contemporary art on display in British Government buildings has increased. The Government Art Collection (GAC) displays works of art by British artists of all periods from the 16th century to the contemporary in major British Government buildings at home and throughout the world. This helps to promote the image of Britain and to reflect its culture, history and creativity in the visual arts. The GAC supports the work of contemporary artists by purchasing and commissioning works of art.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The New Deal for the youth unemployed covers 18-24 year-old claimants unemployed for more than six months. It shows youth unemployment was 43,306 in December 1999, compared with 109,331 in December 1997 and 277,735 in December 1994.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Details of working groups with external members established since May 1997 have been placed in the Library of the House. These groups are accountable to Ministers, who in turn are accountable to Parliament.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton : The Knowledge Network System is an information management system designed to modernise and join up the way the Government collect and share information, replacing traditional paper-based systems with a computerised one. The system will cut down duplication of effort and enable everyone to pool their work and knowledge.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman) : My right honourable friend the Minister represented the UK at the Agriculture Council meeting in Brussels on 24 January, accompanied by my right honourable friend the Minister of State (Ms Quin) at MAFF and by Mrs Brid Rodgers MLA, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Commissioner Byrne introduced the Commission's White Paper on Food Safety, which outlines plans for a European Food Authority and sets out an action plan for a comprehensive legislative framework intended to guarantee the highest level of consumer protection. Along with all other Council members, my right honourable friend the Minister welcomed the White Paper and the Commission's commitment to a new integrated approach to EU food law with food safety at its heart. The White Paper will now be considered intensively within the Council framework to prepare a report for the Feira European Council in June.
Baroness Hayman: Official Overseas Trade Statistics do not separately identify exports of offal from dedicated pig-meat abattoirs. The following table shows total UK exports of pig offal, and those countries in the European Union which have taken imports of such material.
|Total exports to EU||47,290||31,605|
Baroness Hayman: Yes. The active and other ingredients of organophosphorus (OP) sheep dips were reviewed as part of the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC)'s major review of OP sheep dips in 1992 and 1993. In its report published on 1 December 1993 (MAFF News Release No. 424/93), the VPC concluded that there was no firm scientific evidence available at that time to support the hypothesis that the chronic health effects reported were associated with exposure to the OP or other ingredients in sheep dips.
Baroness Hayman: A full list of research and development projects relating to organophosphorus compounds was included in the report of the Official Group on OPs, published in June 1998. The list includes two projects of basic research into the nature and mechanisms of toxicity: a study of the long term electrophysiological effects of sheep dip OPs in the mouse nervous system, and dose effect profiles for OP sheep dips on brain electrical activity and sensitive behaviour indices in non-human primates. The first of these studies has been completed. The second study, which is a three-year project, is under way.
The Government have sought clarification from the French authorities. They have confirmed that levels of pesticides in drinking water supplied to the public in Brittany do not, and did not, constitute a risk to health. The Government have no other information over and above that included in the Le Monde article.
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