HL Deb 18 January 1999 vol 596 cc86-7WA
Lord Acton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they plan to appoint the next Chairman of the Independent Panel which oversees the MoD Interactions research programme into Gulf veterans' illnesses? [HL564]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert)

Professor Donald Davies has agreed to take on the role of chairman of the Independent Panel overseeing the MoD Interactions research programme. This programme is designed to investigate the possible adverse health effects of the combination of vaccines and tablets which were given to UK troops during the Gulf conflict to protect them against biological and chemical warfare agents. This is an important part of the broader ongoing research programme into Gulf War veterans' illnesses.

Professor Davies is the Director of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology (Division of Medicine) at Imperial College School of Medicine and the Director of the Department of Health Toxicology Unit, located at the same site. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal College of Pathologists, and an honorary member of the Royal College of Physicians.

Professor Davies is presently a member of the Committee on Mutagenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, and the National Biological Standards Board; he also sits on the expert Panel which advises the European Medicines Evaluation Agency, and was a member of the Committee on Safety of Medicines until December 1998.

We expect that the next meeting of the Independent Panel, the first at which Professor Davies will act as Chairman, will be held shortly.