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Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: The "Train and Equip" programme is a bilateral matter between the US and the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Military Professional Resources Incorporated, the firm that conducts the Train and Equip programme, is a private sector company and is licenced by the US State Department. Her Majesty's Government are not involved in this programme. The programme has been suspended since April because of the lack of progress on an integrated Federation Army.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hayman): We have received a letter from the Haemophilia Society on this issue. However, the representations made by the society have not convinced the Government to alter their decision that haemophiliacs infected with hepatitis C through National Health Service treatment should not receive special payments. I will write to my noble friend addressing the specific points made by the Haemophilia Society.
Whether local authority food safety law enforcement officers are empowered to enter slaughterhouses with a view to checking the standards of meat processing and supervision, in the course of investigations into outbreaks of food poisoning, where there are reasonable suspicions that the sources of contamination may reside in slaughterhouses.[HL3232]
Baroness Hayman: An authorised officer of a food authority has the power to enter a slaughterhouse to ascertain whether there have been any contraventions of the Food Safety Act 1990, and to take action to ensure that food failing to comply with food safety requirements is dealt with appropriately. This would normally be done in close liaison with the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) and would take into account the controls operated by the MHS within the premises. Food authorities have no powers to check the effectiveness of MHS personnel or their procedures.
Baroness Hayman: The building which is being leased to provide the headquarters for the proposed Food Standards Agency is part of a mixed office and commercial refurbishment and development in the Holborn area. In line with planning consents, the developer is letting the ground floor separately for retail use, including a retail chemist and a supermarket. The choice of tenants is a commercial matter for the developer, and it would have been inappropriate for the Government to attempt to influence his decision.
Baroness Hayman: The Government propose that the Meat Hygiene Service should become an Executive Agency of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Its funding will thus be accounted for separately from that of the Food Standards Agency. Meat Hygiene Service charges collected under the Meat (Hygiene and Inspection) (Charges) Regulations 1998 cannot be used to fund non MHS activities, such as the FSA running costs.
Baroness Hayman: Data collected by the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) shows that the number of laboratory confirmed cases of salmonella in England and Wales fell from 32,596 in 1997 to a provisional figure of 23,420 in 1998.
Not all salmonella infections are the result of food poisoning. Some infections are spread, for example, from person to person or through direct contact with animals or their waste. In outbreak situations investigations often discover a likely common source of infection. However, because the vast majority of infections are isolated sporadic cases, it is not always possible to identify the source of infection.
The PHLS and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency are currently investigating the factors that may explain the recent trends in salmonella infections in England and Wales, and this research will be published in due course.
Baroness Hayman: The Government believe that viewers, especially children, should be protected from broadcast material portraying smoking as a glamorous or attractive activity. The regulatory codes therefore give guidance about the depiction of smoking and drinking in programmes. Programmes should not include smoking or drinking unless the context or dramatic veracity require it. Particular care is needed with programmes likely to be seen by children.
Baroness Hayman: There are a number of compounds classed as "dioxins". The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, 1997) and the Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC, 1998) have reviewed the published evidence, from animal and human studies, for the carcinogenicity of 2, 3, 7, 8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), which is the most toxic of these compounds.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): The minima and maxima of the Special Adviser pay bands have each been increased by 2.8 per cent. with effect from 1 April 1999, the same increase as for the Senior Civil Service pay bands. The three pay bands are now:
|Department||Number in Bands|
|Agriculture, Fisheries & Food||1|
|Chief Whip's Office||2|
|Culture, Media & Sport||1||1|
|Education & Employment(3), (4)||2||1|
|Environment, Transport & the Regions(5)||3||1|
|Foreign & Commonwealth Office||2|
|Leader of the House of Lords||2|
|Lord Chancellor's Department||1|
|Northern Ireland Office||2|
|President of the Council||1||1|
|Trade & Industry||2|
|HM Treasury(7), (8)||1||1||1|
(1) Plus Jonathan Powell and Alastair Campbell, who are paid outside the band structure, and Iain Anderson, who is an unpaid adviser.
(2) Plus Keith Hellawell, UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator, who is paid outside the band structure.
(3) Plus Michael Barber, the Standards and Effectiveness Adviser.
(4) Includes two part-time posts; one additional adviser has been appointed at a salary to be determined.
(5) Includes two part-time posts.
(6) One additional adviser has been appointed at a salary to be determined.
(7) Plus the three members of the Council of Economic Advisers (two in Band C and one in Band B; one of them part-time).
(8) One additional adviser has been appointed at a salary to be determined.