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The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The UK Government have not supported any individual application for a new Internet top level domain. Instead the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)'s Government Advisory Committee (of which the UK is a member) issued an Opinion on 16 November 2000 that set out a number of guiding principles which ICANN should take into account when selecting new internet top level domains. These principles included transparency, openness, linguistic diversity, stability of the Internet and competition with the existing top-level domains.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The results from the MMXI Europe at home panel show continuing rapid growth in the number of people using the Internet at home, with women and children making up an increasing proportion of the online population. These encouraging trends are reflected in other sources, including figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show that 45 per cent of adults in the UK have accessed the Internet at least once.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The DTI's own annual International Benchmarking Study finds that, while the majority of businesses are now online, only a minority of businesses are engaging in more complex e-commerce activities.
In response to findings such as this, the Government have developed UK online for business. This programme offers help and support to businesses to trade online. Part of this programme is designed specifically to encourage businesses to develop online supply chain relationships.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The Department of Health has spent a total of £4.5 million on research into the links between BSE, scrapie and vCJD. MAFF has supported two projects on epidemiology of BSE and vCJD at a total cost of £2 million. These last two projects do not directly address the link between sheep scrapie, BSE and vCJD but study the size of the epidemics and model the possible routes of transmission. In addition, MAFF is currently negotiating a project to study the relative transmissibility of these diseases to animal models which simulate transmission between species. It was not possible to do this research earlier as suitable animal models did not exist.
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