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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Prime Minister is supported in making decisions about the allocation of ministerial responsibilities by the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretariat provide advice to the Cabinet Secretary on this issue. There is no set number of staff devoted to this issue and those involved have other duties in the Cabinet Secretariat.
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Cabinet Office has not recently prepared or commissioned reports into machinery of government changes. A report was published in 2002 on the creation of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A copy of this has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the remarks by the Minister of State for Health, Phil Hope, on 5 May (HC Deb, col. 54WH), whether they have received (a) a timetable for the implementation of the Food Supplements Directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation in
5 Oct 2009 : Column WA436
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent assessment they have made of the impact on (a) United Kingdom businesses, and (b) consumers, of the importation of health food products from the Channel Islands containing illegal ingredients or marketed using illegal claims. [HL5270]
To ask Her Majesty's Government when officials from the Department of Health last met representatives of the health food industry to discuss the impact of the trade in health food products from the Channel Islands on (a) United Kingdom businesses, and (b) United Kingdom consumers; and whether they plan such a meeting in the future. [HL5271]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Food Standards Agency has been asked by the government of Jersey to provide an opinion on whether the definition of food businesses operator includes fulfilment businesses. [HL5273]
Baroness Thornton: Jersey has advised that its Health Protection Department continues to work on drafting instructions for law to implement the European Food Supplements Directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation, although drafting time for this law has yet to be allocated in their legislative programme. A timetable for implementation of the legislation in Jersey has not been supplied.
Guernsey has advised that the board of its Health and Social Services Department has directed officials in that department to investigate the effect of implementing the European Food Supplements Directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation. This work has begun and is ongoing.
The private nature of the mail order transactions involved in the personal importation of health food products from the Channel Islands means that it is not possible to collate the information necessary to assess the impact on United Kingdom businesses or consumers of products containing ingredients, or making health claims, which would be illegal in the UK. Health food products imported commercially from the Channel Islands into the UK must comply with relevant UK food law and non-compliance may result in enforcement action.
No meetings have recently taken place between officials of the department and representatives of the health food industry to discuss the impact of the trade in health food products from the Channel Islands on United Kingdom businesses and consumers and there are no plans for such a meeting.
In September 2008, an official of the Government of Jersey sought the view of the Food Standards Agency as to the status of businesses trading in foodstuffs which never physically fall into their possession. In its response, the Food Standards Agency advised that as the definition of "food business" in Regulation (EC) 178/2002 (General Food Law) refers to "activities related to any stage of production, processing and distribution of food", this would not preclude businesses of the type mentioned from falling under the definition and, hence, being subject to relevant food law.
Baroness Thornton: Directive 2001/83/EC, as amended by Directive 2004/24/EC, requires each European Union member state to establish a simplified registration scheme for traditional herbal medicinal products. The provisions of Directive 2004/24/EC were transposed into United Kingdom law principally through the Medicines (Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products for Human Use) Regulations 2005.
Article 13 of Directive 2001/83/EC, as amended, also requires EU member states to set up a special simplified registration procedure for homeopathic products. Products registered under this long-standing scheme are not permitted to have specific therapeutic indications on their labels. Homeopathic medicinal products in the UK may also be authorised under Article 16, which permits a member state to introduce specific rules for pre-clinical and clinical trials of homeopathic medicinal products in accordance with the principles and characteristics of homeopathy as practised in that member state. Such products may be labelled with a range of strictly limited therapeutic indications. This scheme was introduced to the UK through the Medicines for Human Use (National Rules for Homoeopathic Products) Regulations 2006.
The European Food Supplements Directive 2002/46/EC sets down requirements for food supplements marketed in the EU. The directive is implemented in England by the Food Supplements (England) Regulations 2003, as amended.
A draft European Commission regulation, intended to effect amendments to the Food Supplements Directive to add vitamin and mineral substances to the list of those permitted for use in food supplements, received a favourable vote at the meeting of the general food law section of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 15 July 2009. The draft regulation will now be considered by the European Parliament and European Council.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money has been (a) spent to date on, and (b) committed to purchase, (1) drugs to combat swine flu, (2) related equipment, (3) new or extended systems for flu management, and (d) public health publicity in respect of the illness. [HL5341]
Baroness Thornton: The spend to date on drugs is over £500 million and additional committed spend on further drugs will take the amount to over £1 billion. We are not able to break down this number due to confidentiality clauses in our contracts with the various manufacturers.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which initiatives of the Department of Health or its agencies have been advertised in each of the last five years; how much was spent in each case; and which were carried out via the Central Office of Information. [HL5332]
All departmental advertising listed as follows was carried out via the Central Office of Information (COI), with the exception of those initiatives highlighted with an asterisk. To identify other ad hoc expenditure not carried out via the COI would incur disproportionate cost.
1 Advertising spend is defined as covering only media spend (inclusive of agency commissions but excluding production costs, COI commission and VAT). All figures are rounded to the nearest £10,000. These figures do not include departmental recruitment/classified advertising costs and ad hoc spend under £10,000. These figures may include occasional minor spend through COI by NHS organisations, to supplement national campaigns in their area. While this expenditure has been excluded as far as possible so that this chart reflects central departmental spend, it would incur disproportionate cost to validate that every item of NHS expenditure has been removed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which initiatives of the Department for Work and Pensions or its agencies have been advertised in each of the last five years; how much was spent in each case; and which were carried out via the Central Office of Information. [HL5337]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Given the wide range of advertising activity carried out by the department, it is not possible to provide a full list of initiatives covered. Activity ranges from national advertising campaigns-for example, pension credit, winter fuel payments, employability and benefit fraud-to local activity, such as advertising in local directories and promoting jobs fairs.
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