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Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Mr Llew Smith Mr Llew Smith Labour, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer, of 20 March 2002, Official Report, column 372W, she will list the consultants appointed to the secretariat; and if she will set out the reasons CERRIE meetings are not held in public.

Photo of Michael Meacher Michael Meacher Minister (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Environment)

As I indicated in my reply of 20 March, three consultants have been appointed to provide the Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters (CERRIE) with an independent secretariat. They are Ian Fairlie, Marion Hill and Paul Dorfman.

Several of the members of CERRIE are on record as having strongly held contradictory views about the radiation risks from internal emitters. The CERRIE meetings are intended to provide an opportunity for those differences of opinion to be debated, at length, in an environment that will encourage consensus to be reached, as far as that is possible. Holding the meetings in private will aid the uninhibited expression of views and the ability, where appropriate, for individuals to change their minds in the light of the evidence before them. However, in order to be transparent about their discussions, CERRIE are preparing their own website which will include, among other things, summary minutes of their meetings. CERRIE's final report to the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) will also be published.

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