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The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): There is no statutory duty of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission to apply the concept of sustainable development to its activities.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The value of any proposal for the Dome site depends on a wide variety of issues, including, for example, the proposed use, the density of development in and around the Dome, the attitude of the local planning authority and the transportation constraints and implications.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): We have asked the United States authorities to clarify the background on this issue and will consider the matter further in the light of the information they provide. We expect that any proposal to release genetically modified salmon will be assessed very carefully by the US authorities, and that they will only approve a release if it is not thought to pose an unacceptable risk to wild salmon stocks.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): Records of National Insurance Numbers (NINOs), and the names to whom they were allocated, are retained for all NINOs allocated between 5 July 1948 and 5 April 1975.
Details of all NINOs allocated since April 1975 are retained on the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS) computer. The NIRS computer system also contains a record of all NINOs allocated prior to April 1975.
There are approximately 82 million NINOs and Child Reference numbers recorded on the Departmental Central Index (DCI). These include the records of those who have died, but whose contributions are the basis for benefit payments to surviving dependants, and foreign and EU nationals who have worked temporarily in the UK.
The Data Cleansing Project will be stopped on 31 March; however the process of analysing our database to identify and remove inaccurate, duplicate and fraudulent NINOs will continue at current levels as part of our core business.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Mr Nick Pelling, Director of the Disabled Living Foundation, is a member of the external reference group which advises and informs the Department of Health on progress toward implementing the community equipment aspects of the NHS Plan. In this capacity, he has been consulted on the forthcoming Department of Health guidance on community equipment services.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: On Friday 26 January the High Court ordered that the question of whether permission should be granted for Mr Bruno Quintavalle and the Pro-Life Alliance to bring a judicial review should be adjourned and considered at a full hearing to be held on or after 15 June. At the full hearing the court will decide whether the application should proceed. If this is permitted, the court will then go on to consider the substantive issues.
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The United States did ban Gulf War veterans from donating blood from 1991 to 1993. The military health services were concerned that the veterans might have contracted Leishmaniasis while serving in the Middle East. In 1993 the ban was lifted.
The National Blood Service does not exclude Gulf War veterans from donating blood. The UK blood services' guidance on eligibility to donate is drawn up by a Standing Advisory Committee on the Care and Selection of Donors. That committee reviews the criteria on a regular basis.
Whether, following the discovery of the fifth consignment of contaminated German beef in the United Kingdom, they are now inspecting every consignment, rather than spot-checking some of the imports. [HL678]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: We are advised on questions of food safety by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The Government are greatly concerned at the discoveries of imported German beef contaminated with Specified Risk Material which should, under European Union law, have been removed at the slaughterhouse. The FSA has taken up these problems vigorously with the European Commission and with the German authorities.
Meat is part of the European single market, and may therefore circulate freely within the EU, without any requirement for border controls. Meat imported from another EU member state is subject to random checks at the point of destination within the United Kingdom. It would therefore be contrary to EU law to instigate border checks on imports of German beef.
The FSA has taken action, by instructing the Meat Hygiene Service in Great Britain, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland, to check every single consignment of imported German carcass beef which arrives at a licensed meat plant in the UK. The FSA has also written to local authorities to advise them to step up their checks at those meat plants under local authority supervision which are likely to receive consignments of imported German beef. These instructions and advice were issued on 29 January, following the first discoveries of contaminated German beef.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): We are pleased to announce that we have reappointed Lord Gladwin of Clee and Professor David Greenaway each to a second three-year term. These appointments have been conducted in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments' guidance on appointments to pubic bodies.
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