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All mycobacteria isolated from humans with tuberculosis are tested for antibiotic resistance. Between 1993 and 1997 there were an average of 42 M. bovis isolates reported from humans per year. A total of 24 were resistant to isoniazid, 4 to isoniazid and rifampicin and 1 to ethambutol during this time. Records are not available for years prior to 1993.
Lord Donoughue: The noble Countess may be referring to the Shikimate pathway. The Shikimate pathway is an important biosynthetic route in plants that leads to the formation of the aromatic amino-acids tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine. Glyphosate inhibits one of the enzymes in the pathway, leading to the death of the plant by preventing it from synthesising these essential amino-acids.
Lord Donoughue: The Government are advised on the authorisation of veterinary medicinal products by the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC). In considering the distribution of products, the committee has regard to the criteria in Article 4 of Directive 81/851/EEC, as amended by Directive 90/676/EEC and implemented by Regulation 3 of the Marketing Authorisations for Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulations 1994.
Whether organophosphorus (OP) sheep dips should be Prescription Only Medicines (POM) has been considered by the VPC. In its report on the effectiveness of the Certificate of Competence Scheme and other matters, which was published on 17 February 1997, the Committee advised that the PML (Pharmacy and Merchants' List) classification remained the most appropriate for OP sheep dips and the Committee gave the following reasons for its advice. Sheep farmers were experienced in the handling of sheep and no specific veterinary expertise was required for dipping. While it was a requirement that POM status should apply where particular veterinary expertise was needed to avoid unnecessary risk to the animal, operator, consumer or the environment, it was considered that the reclassification of OP sheep dips to POM status would not significantly improve the protection of human safety. Sheep dips are often used prophylactically by farmers and the committee further considered that a POM classification could discourage this, possibly leading to a further increase in the level of ectoparasitic diseases in sheep.
Lord Donoughue: The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) would be the relevant body to conduct any follow-up, as it operates the Suspected Adverse Reactions Surveillance Scheme (SARSS). There is nothing to prevent the VMD from making further contact with individuals who have reported suspected adverse reactions due to exposure to an OP sheep dip or medical practitioners who have submitted reports on their patients' behalf. The working group established by the Presidents of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Psychiatrists is expected to make recommendations on the design of clinical studies recommended by the Veterinary Products Committee. In the event that these recommendations include follow-up of reports made under SARSS, this could be undertaken by VMD or, with permission of the individuals concerned, by another body.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office (Lord Dubs): The Government certainly welcome the forthcoming establishment of the civic forum. Its purpose will be in line with the terms of reference set out in the agreement; that is, it will act as a consultative mechanism on social, economic and cultural issues. In the period before devolution we will be consulting with the First Minister designate, the Deputy First Minister designate and the Assembly, so that arrangements can be put in hand to help secure its earliest appropriate establishment.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham): The article referred to followed a routine ministerial briefing and did not anticipate a statement in the House of Commons. The article in question contained no new announcement of government policy. It covered the introduction, later in the year, of personal adviser pilots under the New Deal for Disabled People; and our plans to pilot benefit changes to help disabled people who want to work. Parliament was already aware of these initiatives.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel): I refer the noble Earl to my letter of 6 June in which I explained that the content and form of the accounts which the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) publishes in its annual reports is a matter for the association itself and is not prescribed by the Government.
Whether, in view of the conclusions of the two papers referred to in the Written Answer by the Lord Donoughue on 3 March (WA 158) the toxicity and environmental risks of ivermectin, it would now be prudent to stop all use of ivermectin on fish farms, including use under the "cascade" arrangements.[HL2835]
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has consented a number of applications for the discharge of ivermectin prescribed under the "cascade" arrangements. Conditions have been attached to the consents. These are intended to satisfy SEPA's statutory functions in relation to protection of the water environment.
My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has received requests from a broad range of interests to call-in certain discharge consent applications in relation to the use of ivermectin for his own determination. The matter is under careful consideration.
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